Hyderabad: TISS Hyderabad was in the eye of a storm as students took to the campus to protest. Protests by several students have been on over the last few days, including an ongoing hunger strike, over the change in hostel and mess fee structures.

Tata Institute of Social Sciences-Mumbai (TISS) suspended academic activities on its Hyderabad campus on Monday evening, declaring a sine die. In an order signed by the acting registrar, the institute had also asked all students to “vacate the campus latest by 5 pm”. As per the order, sine die will stand “until further notice”.

In its notice dated July 15, the University said that the protesting students had "continued with the blockade in spite of our repeated appeals and efforts to negotiate, thereby completely paralysing the functioning of the campus for the past five days."

According to student protestors, Dalit and Adivasi students have not been availing hostel facilities, thanks to the high fees charged by the private operator. From over 250 students who availed hostel facilities in the previous academic year 2018-19, the number has fallen to 150 this year, the students alleged. An Adivasi student also discontinued her course in TISS-Hyderabad this month as she could not afford the hostel fee, students alleged. As per the terms set by the private operator, TISS students are expected to pay a six month advance of Rs 53,000 toward hostel fees, the protestors said.

“The students have been denying us entry from the past one week,” TISS Acting Deputy Director Vindhya told a leading news website. “We had a meeting with them and said that we can’t have talks in this kind of an atmosphere. So, our Mumbai administration has suspended academic activity indefinitely. Indefinite closure has been declared and the campus will reopen once normalcy is restored.”

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