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Demand for IIT-B to take back ‘anti-national activities’ circular

By Priyanka Sahoo
PUBLISHED ON JAN 31, 2020 01:03 AM IST

Two days after the administration of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, (IIT-B) issued a circular asking its students not to participate in any “anti-national activities”, the student wing of Nationalist Congress Party has written to the administration asking them to take back the rules laid down in the circular.

On Thursday, Amol Matele, Mumbai president, Nationalist Students’ Congress, wrote to the institute’s dean of student affairs, saying that the institute’s administration is trying to derail the students’ movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). “By saying that students are disrespectful or they have chosen a wrong path, the institute is taking away students’ rights to protest peacefully,” the letter said.

IIT-B’s dean of student affairs had issued a circular on Tuesday night reiterating the model code of conduct for students and residents. The circular read, “Residents shall not participate in any anti-national, anti-social and or any undesirable activities.”

In his letter to the institute, Matele said the students have a constitutional right to protest peacefully. “The 15 rules set by the institute in the code of conduct mentioned in the circular are a hindrance to the students’ right to freedom of expression. The circular must be withdrawn or we will launch a protest,” Matele told HT. Tapandendu Kundu, dean, student affairs, was unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, IIT Bombay for Justice — a collective of students, faculty members and staff against CAA-NRC — ignored the circular and continued their protest on Thursday by screening movies.

“At the moment we are discussing our strategy for dealing with the circular,” said a student associated with IIT Bombay for Justice. Students from Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi, extended support to their counterparts in IIT-B.

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