IP varsity students face threat for joining stir

While Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal expresses solidarity with dissenting students in JNU and elsewhere, there is a problem in his own backyard. Section of students protesting against fee hike over the past week in a Delhi government-run university have alleged that they have been threatened by private colleges affiliated to the university.

Speaking with ET, students of the Delhi government-run Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University claimed their private colleges have threatened them with rustication, filing of defamation cases, ruining of careers, for participating in protests against fee hike. The issue relates with an order of fee hike issued by the Delhi government last month, which provoked several localised protests at the college level by students who called it “arbitrary” and “unfair”.

Some of these protests were organised by the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). While Kejriwal announced a withdrawal of fee hike after protests on Sunday, it appears colleges have been threatening protesting students for over the past week.

At least one of the colleges continued to threaten students on Monday for taking their woes to the chief minister. Teachers in some colleges have issued warnings in open classrooms against joining protests, claim protesting students and ABVP activists.

 Most students not part of ABVP requested anonymity for themselves and the names of their colleges out of fear of adverse action.
 Consider the case of this first year mass communications student from a college in Dwarka.
 She said, “The college authorities called up my mother and warned her that, if I joined protests like I did at the Chief Minister’s residence on Sunday, I will be rusticated. And my career will be destroyed. This call came today (Monday).” According to her, the “classroom teacher” had threatened students on March 2 for participating in protests. She was wondering, why, if, the chief minister had backed them and withdrawn fee hike, were they “being threatened like this? Please help us.”
 Another student of a Narelabased college said, “An email was sent out by the college asking us not to join protests over fee hike. Their strong displeasure was made clear to us.”
 ABVP’s Vishal Singh Sisodia, himself a student, said, “We have received information from students of at least four-five colleges where students were threatened for protesting against the fee hike.”

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