Burhani College controversy: Students accuse management of using intimidating tactics to revoke their complaints

Aug 31, 2015, 08:29 IST | Shreya Bhandary

While a few claim they were summoned to principal’s cabin and threatened with suspension, others alleged detention in classrooms for hours; principal rubbishes allegations, says political outfits encouraging students

It looks like the ongoing tussle between the Burhani College of Arts and Commerce management and its degree college students is getting murkier.

Days after mid-day reported about 162 students lodging individual complaints with the Mumbai varsity’s Students Grievance Redressal Cell (SGRC) against the college for charging exorbitant fees, some of them have now accused the management of using intimidating tactics to force students into revoking their complaints.

“After filing written complaints with the grievance cell, a few of us were summoned to the principal’s cabin within a couple of days and were asked to withdraw our complaints. I assume university officials have contacted the management about the complaints, which has made them very angry,” said one of the students.

A few of the students claimed that after being summoned to the principal’s cabin, they were asked to take back their complaints or face suspension. A few others claimed that they were detained in a classroom for hours.

All under one roof
A joint meeting between students, college authorities and members of the grievance cell was organised on Saturday, during which a few of the complainants were called to discuss their problems.

“The aim was to bring together all stakeholders to discuss the problems at hand because several allegations and counter allegations have been made so far, so it is necessary for us to get a clear picture before taking any decision,” said a senior university official, adding that the final decision is pending.

The case
Last week, 162 students from the BMS and BMM lodged individual complaints with the SGRC, wherein they accused the college management of failing to provide the promised amenities like AC classrooms, free WiFi and gymkhana, among others, despite charging fees above the amount prescribed by the varsity.

The other side
Refuting allegations levelled against the college, Principal Haider Karrar claimed that none of the students were threatened. “In the meeting held by the grievance cell, one of the students confessed that she was not threatened by us. The problem is that students are getting encouraged by political outfits and are maligning the college’s reputation,” said Karrar. He also said the university has approached the college regarding the complaints and the management has assured its full co-operation during investigation.

“Students need to understand that they can directly approach the college when they have issues, and refrain from bringing outsiders inside the college,” added Karrar.

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