Student removed from halls for ‘showing tendencies of being homosexual’

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An Indian undergraduate student was reportedly asked to leave her university accommodation last week after “showing tendencies of being homosexual.”

The unnamed student is part of Mahila Maha Vidhyalaya, a women’s college of the Banaras Hindu University in Varasnasi, north India.

College authorities stated that the student was removed for harassing other members of the college.

However, an anonymous professor and member of the college disciplinary board has revealed that the student was suspended for “showing tendencies of being homosexual.”

Homosexuality remains illegal in India, under Section 377 of the penal code introduced under archaic British Colonial rule.

Related: The British Empire’s homophobic legacy could finally be overturned in India

The Indian Express reported that the college asked the parents of the student in question to remove their daughter from the college and treat her “disease”.

Whilst she has not been removed from her studies, she is no longer permitted to stay in the women’s only accommodation.

Other students reportedly said that she was not given the chance to defend herself and that any allegations against her have not been investigated prior to her removal.

In an initial response, Dr Neelam Atri, Assistant Professor and Chief Coordinator of the accommodation said that: “Students alleging this want to bring the university a bad name.

“Around 16 boarders had given me in writing that the student was harassing them and scaring them with her activities and indiscipline.”

However, Dr Atri later told Youth Ki Awaaz that the student had in fact been suspended for being a lesbian and that the college was within its rights to do so.

Dr Atri reiterated her earlier claim that the removed student had been harassing other students.

Patience Philip, the administrative Warden of the college told Youth Ki Awaaz that the girl was a lesbian hence her temporary expulsion, but that the college would take her back if she is “treated for her illness”.

He said: “That girl is mentally ill, she has a psychological problem and needs treatment.

“Her sexual behaviour is exactly how a boy approaches a girl.”

Phillip continued to say that the student has not been expelled, saying: “we are more than willing to consider taking her back if she gets treated for her illness.”

This story comes in the wake of the Indian Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed the right to privacy for gay people, throwing the future of the country’s anti-gay law into question.

LGBT+ rights in India are tenuous, with nearly 1,500 people arrested in 2015 under the colonial-era law and nearly half of transgender teenagers facing violence prior to turning 18.