An unannounced move by the IIT administration to close the ‘Krishna Gate’, which provides access to the IIT-Madras campus from Gandhi Road near Velachery, was met with opposition from a section of students.

After a small group of students protested against the move to construct a wall to permanently close the gate on Tuesday night, the construction was brought to a halt. However, a student claimed that the gate had been closed and barricades placed in front of it.

ChintaBar and Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, students’ collectives functioning within the campus, issued statements condemning the secrecy with which the move was made. They said the gate was frequently used by many students residing outside the campus on Gandhi Road. Students on campus also used the gate to access photocopy shops and eateries outside. It was also used by students studying in schools located inside the campus.

“Now, we may have to use the Velachery Gate, which is more than a kilometer away,” a student said.

An email sent by the students’ union general secretary of IIT-Madras to all students expressed shock over the sudden closure of the gate, reportedly due to security reasons.

It added that the issue had been taken up with the authorities concerned.

The Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle and ChintaBar said apart from affecting students, the move would also hit the livelihood of small business owners who had set up shop near the gate.

The IIT-Madras administration could not immediately be reached for comment.