SRINAGAR: A government-run college in Kashmir has sparked a controversy after issuing a ‘moral code of conduct’ for its students who have denounced the ‘diktat’ as ‘medieval’ that is aimed at “suppressing the academic freedom”.

The controversial order issued by Baramulla Degree College in north Kashmir contains a list of do’s and don’ts, particularly focusing on girl students who have been explicitly asked not to mingle with their male counterparts in college premises.

The order, which was found by students clipped on the notice board of the college yesterday, asks girl students what to wear, what to carry in their bags and to avoid “mingling” with boys while they are on the campus.

“Unnecessary roaming /gathering, sitting on parapets in the corridors of the college buildings is strictly prohibited” and “The designated and specific place where girl students can take rest is Botanical garden/Girls’ garden and for the boys it is front lawn/canteen lawn. Boys and girls are strictly advised not to remain in an objectionable position with each other,” says the order.

The ‘diktat’ has not, however, gone down well with the students of the college who are threatening to launch protests. They say the “regressive” move is aimed at “choking the academic freedom” of the students and pushing them back to “stone age”.

“This regressive thought process is an assault of our academic freedom. We will not sit back. The college admin had started frisking us and checking our bags few weeks back but this order has come as a shock for all of us,” Aliya, a second year student of the college said.

The order has also ordered the girl students not to carry any “irrelevant stuff in their bags, otherwise the objectionable stuff shall be seized by the female disciplinary squad after proper frisking of their bags.”

The order also triggered a massive outburst on social media where netizens and former students of the college denounced the administration for victimising and stereotyping students.

“When colleges do not allow boys and girls to sit together and prescribe the length of tunic and the sleeves for girls as well, you know that you live in a conservative society. It is nothing but a disgusting diktat,” a civil society formation, Kashmir Women’s Collective, said in a statement.

Defending the move, the principal of Baramulla degree college,Fazal Rahim Beig, said there is “nothing new” in the order and the college administration expects students to follow it in letter and spirit. “There has to be discipline on the campus for which some restraints have to be imposed but we will not harass students,” he said.