Delhi Encounter – Jamia to defend its students in court: V-C

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20080923/main5.htm

 

THE TRIBUNE, CHANDIGARH

M A I N   N E W S

Delhi Encounter
Jamia to defend its students in court: V-C
Charu Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 22
In an unprecedented move of a university going pro-active and taking on the Delhi police, Jamia Millia Islamia University has decided to defend its students involved in the Batla House incident. Late this evening, Vice-Chancellor Mushirul Hassan issued a brief but terse statement communicated by the PRO, Rakshanda Jalil, that, “Jamia will defend its two students arrested in connection with the Batla House incident. We are going in for a court case; the university feels morally bound to defend its students until proven guilty and we will use the legal apparatus for this purpose.”

Meanwhile, the atmosphere at Jamia Millia Islamia University and Jamia Nagar remains highly charged following last week’s encounter at Batla House. The faculty at Jamia is finding itself in a difficult situation because of the involvement of three university students, one of whom is dead. Students on the other hand are nervous and tend to be tight-lipped on the issue.

The Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, Mushirul Hassan, has mentioned in a letter that, “The incidents in the neighbouring locality have caused much concern to all of us. However, it is a matter of satisfaction that our students have remained calm and restrained in their conduct.” He further adds that the media has carried out a “misinformation campaign” and “nobody from the media bothered to verify the facts” from the university authorities. Nor has the police checked with me or the proctor about the students.

Says Hassan, “On Saturday, I informed the minister for human resource development, the secretary and joint secretary of the MHRD and the chairman of the University Grants Commission that Jamia students had no connection with the unfortunate incident.” However, he simultaneously confirms that two of the students picked up by the police on Sunday are on the rolls of the university.

Jalil, PRO, Jamia, says, “The general atmosphere at Jamia right now is extremely uneasy and we feel that there should be more transparency in this investigation as the shadow of suspicion has fallen on our students. The police should be in touch with us closely, as opposed to the current situation when we receive all information from media.” Jalil further says, “We are of course checking the rolls for names of students involved. So far only three have been found, out of which one is dead.”

“The police has kept us in the dark and there should be more cooperation from their side. These are very difficult times for Jamia, as the university’s reputation is at stake. The university is also initiating several steps to deal with the situation, including holding an executive committee meeting,” adds Jalil.

Students on the other hand are also extremely nervous and reluctant to talk. Nasreen, a Jamia student, says, “This is not good for the university or for us. Our parents want us to take a break from the university for a few days and stay at home, but I insist on coming as the classes are going on as usual. We are very anxious and hope that this stain on the university fades away.

Another student, who did not want to be named, says, “Many of us are living in Jamia Nagar and with this incident we are feeling threatened. Checks are carried out in the night. Some boys are planning to go home for a few days. We cannot concentrate on our studies, it is not easy.” Shaukat Ali, a third year student at Jamia, says, “Many of us in the hostel are very disturbed with the incident. What do you expect? I come from a small town in UP. My family is from a humble background and their hopes are pinned on me doing well in my exams. This is my final year, but this incident has left me shaken and disturbed.”

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