Foreign students in Gujarat told not to approach police, media

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Ahmedabad: The Gujarat University authorities have asked the around 280 foreign students enrolled under its Study Abroad Programme (SAP) not to approach the media or police without permission.
The co-ordinator of SAP, Neerja Gupta, told PTI Thursday that the directive, in the form of a circular issued in October last year, is not a “ban” on interaction with media or on approaching the police.
The circular, issued by Gupta, says a “strict warning is given to all foreign students…that engagement with any outer agency like media or police without prior permission of Gujarat University shall invite immediate expulsion for violating the code of conduct.”
The directive was meant for foreign students residing in three hostels under the SAP.
Gupta said the circular should not be looked upon as a ban. “This is a general directive issued every academic year.
We are not stopping students from approaching the media or police. We are just telling them to make the authorities aware first,” she said.
Students enrolled under the SAP belong to Asian and African countries including Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Africa.
Gupta rubbished a media report that these students were allocated hostels as per their food habits. It is wrong to say that some Afghan students were shifted to a hostel in a predominantly Muslim area on account of their food habits.
The only criterion for hostel allocation was the course, not food habits, she said.
“For girls, we have one hostel which accommodates all the girls, be it of under-graduate course, PG or of Ph.D. For boys, we have two hostels. For Post Graduate and Ph.D students, there is a hostel near the university campus. For the UG students, we have rented a building in Lal Darwaja area,” said Gupta.
“Food habits is not at all a criterion. Since Lal Darwaja is the main bus terminus, UG students can get better bus connectivity to reach their colleges spread across the city from there,” she added.