In line with their stance against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Students Council of Pondicherry University have announced a boycott of the upcoming convocation event in the university.
The announcement was made in a statement jointly released by Parichay Yadav, the Council President and V Kuralanban, the Secretary of the Council. The 27th Annual Convocation of the university is scheduled to be held on December 23 in which Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India will be the Chief Guest.
The release said the decision was taken to express solidarity with students across the country "facing state repression" and to register its strong protest against the implementation of 'unconstitutional legislations'.
Stating that the University management had sought the cooperation of the Students Council for the event and had requested the council to give names of student volunteers, the statement said, "But in the light of the ongoing protests against CAA and NRA all over the country, the Council refused to facilitate it and has decided to boycott the event.” This is to mark the council`s solidarity with students nationwide, currently facing 'state repression,' it added.
Under the provisions of the Central Act under which the Pondicherry University is established, the President is the Visitor of the University. Apart from the President of India, Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Members of Parliament from Puducherry V Vaithilingam and N Gokulakrishnan and the University Vice Chancellor Gurmeet would also be present at the convocation according to a University release.
On December 16, the students of Pondicherry University took out a protest march inside the campus, raising Azadi and Halla bol slogans, expressing their solidarity with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). The students of JMI and AMU staged a protest in and around their respective campuses on Sunday against the CAA and NRC when the protests turned violent. The resultant clashes resulted in many JMI students getting injured. On Sunday evening, students of the AMU also conducted a protest in solidarity with the students of JMI, which also ended up in clashes between the students and the police. Around 60 students of AMU were injured in the clashes and the administration of the university announced that AMU will be closed till January 5, 2020.
(With PTI Inputs)