JAMIA UNIVERSITY : HUNGER STRIKE FROM TODAY

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In a blatant case of discrimination and harassment around 17 students of the well known Anwar Jamal Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre of Jamia Millia Islamia have been de barred from appearing for their final examinations. Out of these 17 students, 14 students are from the 'reputed'  M.A  (Mass communication) post graduate course. All these students have medical claims that their Director 'Prof. Obaid Siddiqui'  has discarded calling cases with histories of diseases as old as 12 years and 6 years fake among others.

What has been the biggest injustice is that all these students have secured the minimum required attendance of 60 % and they are being refused the 15% medical relaxation, this relief is a part of the ordinance of the university, furthermore majority of the cases are marginal requiring about 4-5 % relaxation. The director MCRC has maintained a fascist attitude towards the students and has denied them the relaxation that has already been availed by the rest of the university. After much endeavor to convince the administration, and filing applications and representations to the vice chancellor the students have finally gone to the court.

As the examinations and attendance all come under the same ordinance of the university and is equally applicable to students throughout the university, it is unfair for the students of the centre who secure admission after much difficulty to be denied this relief. It seems like the Director MRCR has a personal vendetta against the students and has also with held all information of the exchange that has happened between him and the higher authorities.

On 26 April 2011 9 out of the total 12 petitions that were filed were given a hearing and the very considerate Justice Kailash Gambhir in the High Court suggested to the Jamia authorities that they should reconsider these cases as most of them are marginal. He also suggested that the authorities should set – up an independent panel of doctors who can look in to the cases and give a second opinion.

Despite of which in the second hearing on the 28th of April 2011 the same doctor who has previously rejected these medicals - Dr. Irshad Naqvi a pediatrician, who is not even the Chief Medical Officer of the Ansari Health Centre of the university was brought as authority to the court room. These two students who are first year students and losing their admission from the course, their cases were dismissed as the Justice has already taken a decision in negative for a similar case. Though in the proceedings of the case it was observed by the justice that 'mess' has been created by the MCRC authorities, and he also went on to say that though he is sympathetic with the students he cannot do much for them and that they were free to go and appeal in other courts. Both these students have approximately 72 % attendance against the required 75%, one of them has been suffering from jaundice throughout the year.

Arhan Sett who has secured 65% attendance and suffers from acute migraine, applied to the division bench to seek relief, there he was rejected on grounds that the university is not even contesting that his medical was not submitted within 15 days of his recovery and joining. Since the whole university has accepted medicals even a day before exams, the Jamia counsel was not contesting this point till now, but when he saw the Justice in the division bench take an adverse view, he conveniently kept quite.

As more and more petitions kept rolling in Justice Gambhir  realized that there is more than what meets the eye. On the 2nd may 2011 the Justice directed the students to move a representation before the vice chancellor for consideration. When the students finally got to meet the VC he had some interesting observations. According to him if one is ill they shouldn't come to the university and if a student is financially not stable they shouldn't enter the university without a scholarship. His statement to the students is a clear violation of their right to education.

In the final hearing that took place on the 5th May' 2011, Justice Gambhir said to the counsel of the students Senior Advocate Mr. Rakesh Khanna that he should have come to the rescue of the students before and he could do nothing for the students as now he was bound by a decision of the higher court and also his own. The students are applying to the higher court for relief.

The students have moved a memorandum before the VC stating the following demands.

1. That they should be given the medical relaxation that is part of the ordinance.

2. They should be marked and classes should be conducted of the modules that are still taking place after the 'so- called'  completion of the academic year.

If the vice chancellor fails to accept these demands the students shall go on an indefinite hunger strike from 8th may 2011.

The students have also filed an RTI (which is under process) for information that will reflect the number of medical cases that have already been considered in the university.

Exams and final film projects have already started for both these years'  students and with every day that justice is denied to them they are losing on their projects and exams. It is very sad that the university is indulging in debates of minority status and academic standards and referring to Shahrukh Khan in the court when this is a reflection of how an incompetent administration of a so - called reputed centre of the university has made the future and careers of these students majority girls a battle ground where they satiate their egos.

Names of students debarred :

M.A. Mass Communication

Final Year :

1. Arhan Sett (65%)

2. Nabila Zehra Zaidi (67.9%)

3. Kajri Akhtar (72.% )

4. Olimka Yeptho (61%)

5. Saba Rehman (70.3%)

6. Sana Jamal (72.46%)

7. Sania Ahmad (69.56)

8. Smriti Dewan (70.88%)

9. Suparna Sarkar (72.%)

First Year :

1. Fahad Hassan (71.05%)

2. Udayan Biswas (71.%)


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