The move to bring in a students' union in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University may come to a halt.
Jamia authorities claim that the man who was spearheading the movement, Afroz Alam Sahil, alleged on national television that the University had misappropriated funds meant for victims of the Batla House encounter and has slapped a Rs 50 lakh defamation charge on him for the charge.
"In an interview to a private news channel, Afroz Alam alleged that Jamia had misappropriated funds given by the Samajwadi Party. I clarified this after I got the tapes of that interview. We have now issued a defamation notice of Rs 50 lakh on him for slandering the university on national television. We are trying to maintain the highest academic standards here and it is taken very seriously if anyone challenges that in public," said Najeeb Jung, vice chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia.
Sahil, on the other hand, claims not only have funds vanished, but this move is a deliberate attempt at curbing any movement aimed at building a democracy in the university.
“After the Batla house encounter, a lot of promises were made by the administration of setting up a legal aid fund. Amar Singh had given
R 10 lakh to the University and he confirmed this on Thursday. We filed an RTI to seek an accountability of the funds and the defamation suit is just a means to stop my activism because they are against a students' union," said Afroz Alam Sahil, convener, Forum for Students' Democracy.
He said Jamia has had a history of disqualifying students for having filed RTIs in the past.