Friday, March 1, 2024

“Institution of Murder”: Contractual workers’ death at UoH sparks protest

Students organise protests at the University of Hyderabad’s main gate, demanding adequate measures to protect the rights of contractual workers on campus. 

The longstanding demand was once again raised after two contractual workers living in destitution, died last week.

While Praveen, a sanitation worker, died of suicide, while another staff, Vinod, an office assistant, died of a heart attack. Both of them were contractual employees at the Department of Hindi.

Students from different organisations have been protesting outside the administration block since last Friday. A delegation of workers also took part in the protests demanding justice for the family of the deceased.

As the administration failed to resolve the issue satisfactorily, the students’ union made a call for a “Campus Bandh” on Wednesday.

The union holds the administration responsible for their deaths as the deplorable working conditions have pushed them to this state.

 It has also sought the resignation of officials superior to these employees and demanded an official enquiry into the lapses that occurred.

Citing the apathy of the Vice Chancellor, Section Officer (Sanitation Department), Office of Registrar, Head of Department (Hindi) and the Dean of the School of Humanities in the matter, students have termed the deaths as another instance of “institutional murder.”

 “All the staff and workers’ salaries must be paid on time. There is extraordinary pressure on sanitation workers. More of these workers must be recruited proportional to the work burden,” said a statement from the union.

“The lack of proper working conditions and overburdened tasks for sanitation and office workers are violations of their dignity as human beings and constitutional rights as employees.,” Fraternity movement, a student organisation, said in a solidarity statement.

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