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Student outfit denied permission for seminar on CAA, NRC at Panjab University department

DUI office says it is non-academic issue, Students For Society now plans a protest along with seminar at Student Centre today
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Dar Ovais
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2020 12:55 AM IST

Panjab University on Tuesday denied permission to students affiliated to the left-leaning group Students For Society (SFS) to hold a seminar on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register for Citizens (NRC) in the physics department auditorium.

The office of the dean university instructions (DUI) did not permit SFS to hold the seminar ‘Jamia to Shaheen Bagh: People’s movement against CAA-NRC’ on Wednesday on the grounds that it was a “non-academic event.”

Following the development, SFS members protested outside the vice-chancellor’s office, raising slogans against V-C Raj Kumar and the DUI, Shankarji Jha. They claimed they had sought permissions from the chairman of the physics department, Navdeep Goyal, who had referred their letter to the DUI.

“We first sought permissions from Navdeep Goyal as he is the chairman of the physics department but he denied it and asked us to approach the DUI,” said Varinder, president, SFS.

When asked to comment, Goyal said, “Only one student approached me seeking permission for the seminar but we have another function on Wednesday at the auditorium, which is meant for departmental events first before others are allowed.”

When the SFS members went to the DUI’s office, they were denied permissions on the grounds that it was “non-academic” in nature.

“When the entire country is resisting this monstrous act and universities are becoming the centres of resistance by leading from the front, the BJP-RSS (Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) are compelled to use all foul means in their kitty to douse the formidable people’s movement. PU authorities are tarnishing the name of Panjab University by crushing the democratic rights,” said Sandeep, a research scholar.

Despite several attempts, Jha could not be contacted for a comment.

SFS members have now decided to hold the seminar and a protest at 3.30pm on Wednesday at the Students Centre, where those enrolled at PU don’t require permissions from the authorities. They have to only inform the university about the event.

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