Students reject Jamia claim that anti-social elements trying to hijack hunger strike
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Okhla Times Campus Reporter/JMI
MAY 9, 2011: It appears that the continuation of indefinite hunger strike by some students of AJK MCRC has made the authorities of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) jittery and hence for the first time since the protest started on May 7 they tried to address the burning issue by giving a press release on May 9. According to the university media coordinator, with regards the cases pertaining to the AJK MCRC, 20 students were found short of attendance of which 13 approached the Delhi High Court. 12 of these petitions have been rejected by the Court with strict instructions to the University to comply and follow its rules and Ordinances. This matter, in fact, has been widely reported in the press also. Moreover, the parents of all these students were informed not once but several times of the lack of attendance of their wards, claimed the release.
The media coordinator added: "What is now dismaying is that anti-social elements are trying to hijack the dharna by the AJK MCRC students, with the view to disturb the peace in the area. One ex-student who has a campus ban imposed on him for unacceptable anti-social activities in the university has been reported to the police when he was found instigating these students."
However, the university has failed to name the anti-social elements. An alumnus on the condition of anonymity said the university is misleading people. "Where is the question of anti-social elements when the whole protest is being led by girls." He said that it was the University that used anti-social elements (the police) to end the strike but failed.
Also, the University authority said that it will welcome any one contacting the director, AJK MCRC to get details with regards to each individual student who has been detained, since many inaccurate reports pertaining to these cases have been put out in the media. But the fact is that the director of AJK when earlier contacted by OKHLA TIMES declined to discuss the issue on phone. Many students have complained that he has been acting in undemocratic way.
Reports have even surfaced that the University authorities discouraged hostel students this morning from taking part in a peaceful rally as it was expected to be held today. A former JMI student on the condition of anonymity said: "This morning hostel authorities (wardens) started giving unsolicited advise to the students not to join protest. Later on, some officials even sat on the entrance asking each outgoing students about their plans. It appears that students are being bullied not to participate in the peaceful rally. With no students' union the University authorities are acting like dictators."
Surprisingly the negative role of JOBA has also come to fore. It is understood that JOBA president Javed Alam, brother of Masood Alam, the proctor, is siding with the university authorities, claimed JOBA joint secretary Md Azhar. He said: "Jawed has betrayed the students by siding with the authorities. Throughout the protest, he was never seen on the spot." However, Javed rubbished the allegation. He accused OT of filing biased reporting by targeting him from day one. "I have supported the students throughout the protest." Also, he said that he was the first person to reach the police station when students were detained around 4.10 P.M on May 8 by local police. When confronted with facts, he changed his version saying he was at the University where the brawl between the students and police took place. He said: "OT is losing its popularity by raising such issues. It is playing into the hands of a few people. I know them but I am not going to divulge their names."
At the time of filing this story, the hunger strike was on. A protesting student of Mass Communication Nabeela Zaidi said: "An hour back two faculty members from MCRC came to meet us. They tried to convince us that there is no point in hunger strike. But we will only end it when our issues are resolved."
On the other hand, the University authorities are taking a rigid stand on the whole issue. They have made it clear that they will not meet students' demand. The media coordinator said: "Over the past years the University has been trying its best to raise academic standards, an essential part of which has been to ensure that there is no copying in exams, and that the students attend classes regularly. This has met with considerable success thanks to consistent efforts by the teaching community."
It further added: "The Ordinances at Jamia prescribe a minimum attendance of 75 per cent attendance but there is scope for latitude of a further 15 per cent in case of certain emergencies including medical exigencies. This is clearly written in the University prospectus and the students give an undertaking to this effect at the time of admission."
"Unfortunately seeing a window to use the medical sickness clause, a number of students have provided false medical certificates. These certificates have been thoroughly examined by the University’s doctors and the matter of false certificates has been brought to the notice of the Medical Council of India, with the request to take action against the erring doctors."
But students disagree with the University's claim. They said injustice has been done to them.
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