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Jamia accused of suppressing students’ right after varsity cancels event & says no to outside speakers

Some students of Jamia Millia Islamia are not happy with the administration after it allegedly cancelled permission for an event “Shrinking Democratic Spaces in Universities” to which it had formerly given its assent, claimed a student.

“Today (13th September) we got an intimation from officials that we aren’t allowed to invite speakers from outside Jamia, suppressing the students’ right to hold public meetings or free speech on the university campus. This is the second such incident after the August 24 cultural evening,” said a student.

The cultural evening was at the centre of controversy with students alleging that excessive force was used on them a claim denied by the university. Though the talk was cancelled, students hold the event on Thursday in which some teachers also participated.

Jamia media coordinator Saima Syed told the media: “There are protocols which students are aware of and need to follow. They could come to the department head or directly go to the Dean Students’ Welfare office… Jamia as an institution has never been stringent on these matters.”

The students said that it was on September 12 that two second year students had submitted a letter to the Proctor, Dean Students’ Welfare seeking to hold the event at the central canteen.

The letter also included the names of the speakers for the event, said the student, adding that the university accepted students’ plea to hold the event on Thursday, “subject to furnishing details of the speaker and the topic”. According to the students, they had furnished all the details of the speaker from JNU, DU and others.

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