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article imageFemale students banned from a library in India, court rules no

By Marcus Hondro     Nov 17, 2014 in World
Young women going to the Aligarh Muslim University in India have been banned from using the University library but the courts may come to their rescue. A petition filed by a law intern, and supported by a human rights group, seeks to overturn the ban.
In fact already a court in Uttar Pradesh, the region where the university is, said last week that the banning of the several thousand female undergraduate students from the library is unconstitutional. The Allahabad High Court has given the vice-chancellor of the university, Lt. Gen. Zameeruddin Shah, until Nov. 24 to respond to the ruling.
Gen. Shah had argued that banning female students from the Maulana Azad Library was necessary because, he claimed, allowing them there would attract young men. He also said that females must travel 3 km from their study buildings and would be subject to sexual harassment on the way and that they could in any case order books online. Further, he claimed there was an issue with the number of seats available.
The court told him to get more seats.
The president of the woman's college student's union, Gulfiza Khan, has also addressed the space issue. "We are students of Aligarh Muslim University," Khan recently said. "We, too, should have the benefit of accessing the famous Maulana Azad Library. The library in the Women's College is not enough. If space is a problem, we can just issue books and not sit in the library."
The human rights group, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), is supporting the female undergraduate students in their bid to gain library access. Smriti Kartikeya of HRLN spoke with the BBC and said they argued to the court that access to the library was a basic right for every student. Kartikeya said neither gender, religion or the student's caste should interfere with that right.
Post-graduate female students are permitted in the library but are only permitted to be in a 'Seating already limited' area which has but 12 seats. There are 1,300 seats in the library.
After General Shah has responded to the court's decision, the court may then decide to proceed to lift the ban.
More about female students in india, female students banned from library, court in india lifts ban, Human Rights
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