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Southfield gates open for now
- College allows girls temporary breather

Darjeeling, Oct. 3: Southfield College has decided to keep the gates of the institution open for students during class hours as of now.

Around 200 girls sat on a dharna on Monday to protest a rule under which students had to obtain permission from the teacher-in-charge to leave the campus.

The girls called the system that was introduced a month ago “ridiculous” and demanded that they be treated like “mature individuals”.

Ratna Mishra, who is in charge of the college administration in the absence of the teacher-in-charge, Rakashri Rai, today said: “There was no problem on the college campus today. We have decided to keep the college gates open during study hours. There is no question of issuing passes. We will carry on with the practice till the teacher-in-charge returns in a few days.”

The teacher-in-charge is now in Kathmandu with 50 geography students on an excursion.

Rai is scheduled to rejoin on Monday.

The students, too, said they would wait for the teacher-in-charge to return to discuss the issue.

The gate was opened today and the students could freely step out of the campus.

The institution, which had been founded in 1961 by the Darjeeling Loreto Educational Society and was previously called Loreto College, was handed over to the state government in 2007.

The girls revolted against the rule after a notice was issued on Saturday, saying no permits would be issued for one week as Rai would be out of station.

The girls sat on the road leading to the college from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Monday.

After the agitation, the college authorities told the girls that they should ignore the Saturday notice and they would be issued passes.

The students, however, wanted the withdrawal of the rule.