1 April 2018
On April 1st, 2018, two Symbiosis Law School students, Apoorva Yarabahalli and Snigdha Jayakrishnan, wrote to Maneka Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development, as well as other organisations, including the National Commission for Women, expressing their dissatisfaction with the institute’s handling of sexual harassment complaints.
10 October 2018
Apoorva uploaded a picture of an Instagram post on Facebook on October 10 in which an anonymous victim had recounted her sexual harassment experience with Prof. Srinivas Methuku as well as the institution’s response, which indicated that the accused had been “reprimanded.”
Puja Malhan, the Head of Students’ Affairs at Symbiosis International (Deemed) University, took objection to this.
25 October 2018
Dean Shashikala Gurpur warned Apoorva and Snigdha with rustication on October 25 for defaming the university on social media and violating the code of conduct.
26 October 2018
The BA LLB students, Apoorva and Snigda were asked to evacuate the campus till further order. Even prior to this, the administration had spoken to their parents about their “conduct” and forcefully evacuated them
15 November 2018
Jhatkaa.org starts a campaign to support the women and ensure that they can go back to college.
4 December 2018
Snighda and Apporva receive information that they will be rusticated unless they provide proper defence.
22 January 2019
Snigdha and Apoorva took the legal course to get their place back in the college — they have filed a writ petition in Telangana High Court asking for official documents to prove why they have been expelled from college.
24 January 2019
Public pressure worked! Symbiosis has just sent an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) notification to Snigdha and Apoorva recommending the dismissal of the accused professor. Over 1,500 Jhatkaa.org members signed the petition, called and mailed the college authorities. And finally, with the collective pressure of over 120 tweets, Symbiosis caved in.
7 March 2019
Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has stepped in to ensure that Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad (SLS-H) takes Snigdha and Apoorva back to the college. An intervention letter from the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) comes after months of Jhatkaa.org members asking SLS to reinstate the students back in the college.
29 March 2019
Our coordinated Twitter storm got us an important reply from Maneka Gandhi, Minister of Women and Child Development (MWCD). She got in touch directly with the students for more details on the case. The MWCD then sent a directive to the National Commission for Women (NCW) to intervene. We spoke with a legal aid at NCW and they have confirmed that “the team is working actively on the case and will take action at the earliest.”
26 April 2019
Our campaigner, Punita visited the National Commission for Women (NCW) office in New Delhi. We found out that Snigdha and Apoorva’s case is a high priority for the NCW. We spoke with the legal liaison officer and she informed me that they are taking stringent action against Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad for flouting the POSH guidelines.
4 July 2019
Ms. Kundla Mahajan – Under Secretary UGC sent a letter urging SLS Registrar Dr. MS Shejul to comment immediately on the sexual harassment case. This breakthrough came soon after the intervention from the National Commission for Women (NCW) and Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD). It’s been over 15 days since the UGC sent their letter and the registrar is yet to respond.
17 July 2019
Over 200 Jhatkaa.org members sent private emails to Dr. M.S. Shejul, the Registrar at Symbiosis International. Their emails asked him for a statement on the case of Snigdha and Apoorva who had spoken up about sexual harassment and were kicked out of college seven months ago.
In that time, thanks to pressure built by our members, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), University Grants Commission (UGC) and National Commission for Women (NCW) have all made direct interventions calling for Snigdha and Apoorva to be brought back on campus.
Symbiosis International has felt the heat: they removed the accused professor via an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) investigation.
1 August 2019
There is a lack of awareness around POSH procedures for Internal Complaints Committees (ICCs) on campus. Unless there’s external public pressure — be it the media or members like you — educational institutions keep the issue under wraps and often end up doing injustice to the complainants.
To break this trend, we got Snigdha and Apoorva on board to work with us on our ICC toolkits project. We want to make the POSH guidelines around the mandate and responsibilities of the ICC accessible and easy-to-understand for college students. This toolkit will function as a one-stop guide to go about seeking redressal for sexual harassment complaints and holding colege ICCs accountable.
15 November 2019
WE DID IT!
Apoorva Yarabahalli and Snigdha Jayakrishnan are back on Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad (SLS-H) campus. What’s even better is that they are back without wasting the academic year.