Hyderabad: Though the ban on protests in the University of Hyderabad (UoH), has been lifted, permission was denied for an academic discussion on Article 370.
A panel discussion titled 'Article 370 and Beyond', was to be held in the auditorium of the Social Sciences school on Tuesday, but permission was revoked at the last minute. The spirited students overcame this difficulty by holding the event right outside the auditorium, in an open space, on the same day.
The panelists were Prof. Kham Khan Suan Hausing from the Department of Political Science, Dr G Vijay, from the Department of Economics, Dr Masrook Ahmed Dar and Dr Shefali Jha from the Centre for Comparative Literature.
One of the students, describing the situation said: “It was decided that the programme would be held in the Humanities Auditorium and we had obtained permission from the Dean of the School of Humanities for the same. However, at the last moment, we were informed by the Dean that the permission was revoked, without citing any particular reason.”
Students said they decided to go ahead with the programme in the open space outside the School of Humanities to demonstrate their resistance to the university administration's continuous efforts to curb the voices of dissent within the campus.
Even the open-air discussion was interrupted by police marching in and disrupting the proceedings though the organisers as well as the panelists had made it abundantly clear that it would be completely academic and peaceful in nature, Abhishek Nandan, a student of the varsity, said in his Facebook post. When contacted, Gachibowli police cited security reasons for their action.
Students alleged that the Dean went to the extent of telling the students to leave the university premises if they wanted to have an academic debate. "It is not surprising to see that the state machinery is fearful of the voices of dissent arising from the student community, as events that happened last week at Aligarh Muslim University and elsewhere in the country prove," added the student.