If the words of these former students are to be believed, of Sri Sai Ram Engineering college is a hybrid between an Gurukul and a Nazi camp.
“I was taken to a dark room where they beat me with lathis. My crime was to have worn a black shirt to college.”
Lokanathan, Dinesh Kumar, Pradeep Durairaj, Zaufer Sadiq and another former student have spoken out on the horrors behind the gates of Sri Sai Ram Engineering, which exploded into infamy after a circular on the dress code went viral. The video sees them speak of the cruelties of a man named Balu, who reportedly terrorised them with threats and violence.
“Floor supervisors are just rowdies hired by the management to ‘discipline’ students. Wearing white shirt and black pants, they would roam around the college,” Dinesh Kumar spoke about the sentries appointed on every floor as supervisor, all reporting to Balu.
Pradeep Durairaj spelled it out
“In a college where educated people impart education to others, you can imagine what these people would be doing. They are just goons. They would catch hold of girls’ hair and ask, ‘With this kind of face, you have come to study?’ (or) they would ask girls why their clothes were tight, they would ask this in a demeaning way in front of all.”
Zaufer Sadiq also remembered a moment of torture under Balu: “I once grew a small beard. Balu handed me a blade, not a razor and asked me to shave it. After I finished scraping my beard, with bruises all over, I was asked to pay Rs 200 as fine.”
No response to complaints
While the college has not taken action despite extensive complaints and increasing media scrutiny, students are organising protests. Last week, about a 100 students staged a protest at the Chennai city police commissioner’s office demanding legal action, and submitted a formal petition to a police officer.
There, they mentioned that Balu had not only harassed girl students, but also his women colleagues and girl students. A mechanical engineering student said: “Balu accessed the personal accounts of some of the students and abused them for posting certain comments on Facebook.
He should apologise to the students.” The earliest mention in the media we could find of Balu was from 2010, when he had assaulted two students, leading to student protests.
(Inputs from Times of India)