Pondicherry University students protest after alleged attack on students

According to students, they held the march in front of a mess where a group of about 15 students stopped them
Pondicherry University students protest after alleged attack on students
Pondicherry University students protest after alleged attack on students
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Tension continues to prevail in Pondicherry University over students council magazine ‘Widerstand’. Participants of a march organised by the university students council in support of the magazine were allegedly attacked by a group of students on the campus.

According to students, they started the march in front of the ‘Amudham’ mess where a group of about 15 students came in bike, stopped them and asked them not to organise the programme.

“We were organising it peacefully and while we were explaining it they started to attack us, many of us, including students council members, were beaten up, even girl students were attacked," Nidhin Nath, a magazine committee member told Deccan Chronicle.

At the same time,  Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged a protest in front of the Students Welfare Dean’s office demanding an official ban on the magazine which contains ‘anti national’ content. The leaders demanded action against the magazine committee members and the university administration. They submitted a memorandum to the Registrar demanding the same.

On Monday evening, BJP member Swaminathan along with 100 others held a protest in public glare where copies of the magazine were burnt. With protests on Monday and threats of more protests in the future, the university has clamped down on the magazine, banning its distribution.

'Wider Stand' cover page

 “We have banned distributing the magazine and we have sealed the student council office,” the Assistant Registrar said. On Tuesday, student council members, largely constituting of SFI members, found the council room which housed copies of the journal, sealed.  

In the journal, an article pledged active support on behalf of the varsity students for student movements in JNU, IIT Madras, FTII and Hyderabad university. There was also a page dedicated in memoriam of HCU student Rohith Vemula, three girl students from the Villupuram SVS college and Ajith Kumar, a Dalit engineering student from St Joseph’s College in Kanchipuram, calling them ‘victims of institutional murders.’

The SFI along with the Student Council held a press meet on Tuesday morning to clarify their stance on the issue. “The magazine is going to stay how it is,” says Perumal, member of Tamil Nadu CPI(M) State Committee. “Half of the students who were behind the magazine have passed out, so they can really do nothing to us. If we have caused a stir, so be it.” 

This, according to Perumal, was not the first time that Pondicherry university was in the eye of a storm. In 2015, Minister of Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyothi called for an investigation into the alleged Islamisation in the university after JAK Tareen, a former Jammu and Kashmir University dean, took charge. Instituting a committee, the members observed an increase in the number of Muslim professors. This wasn’t however, followed up. “The vigilantes have been on alert ever since,” says Perumal. 


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