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Bhopal's Makhanlal University Expels 23 Students for Protest Against 'Casteist' Remarks by Professors

Students of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, in Bhopal protest against professors. (Image: Twitter/ANI)

Students of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, in Bhopal protest against professors. (Image: Twitter/ANI)

The varsity had on Tuesday released an expulsion order of students, who had been demonstrating for a week against alleged casteist remarks by two adjunct professors of the Makhanlal University.

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Vivek Trivedi

Bhopal: After 23 students of the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication were expelled late last evening, the issue rocked the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday with the Opposition alleging that the action was initiated to supress voices of dissent among students.

The varsity had on Tuesday released an expulsion order of students, who had been demonstrating for a week against alleged casteist remarks by two adjunct professors.

Earlier, on December 12, the students had staged a sit-in outside Vice Chancellor Dipak Tiwari’s chamber demanding action against the professors. However, the VC was out of station and the talks between administration and students failed, following which the protests were intensified.

In response, the police swung into action dragging down students from the upper floors and took them into custody. An FIR was lodged against 25 students under various charges and on Tuesday late evening, on the recommendation of the disciplinary committee, the university expelled 23 students till further orders.

Raising the matter in the assembly, during the Zero hour, senior BJP MLA Shivraj Singh Chouhan alleged that the journalism students were carrying out a peaceful protest on December 12 but the "police threw them off stairs like non-living things and beat them up mercilessly leaving several students injured".

The students were taken to a far off police station in Bilkhiria, around 20km away from the university, and were only released late night, claimed Chouhan.

Saying that the budding journalists were being treated like terrorists, Chouhan questioned the government for trying to crush the students’ voice over justified demands.

He further demanded that the expulsion order of the students be revoked and the cases slapped against them be withdrawn.

Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargav, taking part in the debate, termed the action against students excessive and harsh. He further claimed that he has learnt that one or two persons in the university were engaged in anti-national activities but the enquiry has been initiated against students instead.

Parliamentary Affairs minister Dr Govind Singh, replying to the debate, said that state government’s sympathies are with the students. “We are summoning the details of what transpired at the university,” Dr Singh assured the House.

Early in the day, a group of former students of the university protested outside the campus and held talks with the administration urging them to revoke the expulsion of the students. They also requested police to withdraw cases slapped on the students.


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