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Wardha Varsity Expels Six Students for Holding Protest, Writing Letter to PM Modi; Cites Poll Code

The students of Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya (MGAHV) were expelled for 'violating the 2019 assembly code of conduct and interfering in the judicial process' by organising a dharna.

News18.com

Updated:October 12, 2019, 9:40 AM IST
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Wardha Varsity Expels Six Students for Holding Protest, Writing Letter to PM Modi; Cites Poll Code
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

New Delhi: Six students of central university in Maharashtra's Wardha were expelled for staging a protest and writing a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over various issues, including rising incidents of mob lynching and rape cases involving political leaders.

The students of Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya (MGAHV) were expelled for "violating the 2019 assembly code of conduct and interfering in the judicial process" by organising a dharna, according to an order issued by Acting Registrar Rajeshwar Singh on October 9.

One of the expelled students, Chandan Saroj alleged that there were some 100 students taking part in the protest but the university took action against "three Dalit and three OBC students", The Indian Express reported. "There were many upper caste students too in solidarity with us,” Saroj said.

Those expelled included Chandan Saroj (M Phil, Social Work), Neeraj Kumar (PhD, Gandhi and Peace Studies), Rajesh Sarthi, Rajneesh Ambedkar (Women’s Studies Department), Pankaj Vela (M Phil, Gandhi and Peace Studies), and, Vaibhav Pimpalkar (Diploma, Women’s Studies Department).

Reacting to the expulsion, left-wing student organisation AISA called for reversal of the university order, saying “freedom of expression of the students cannot be curtailed”. It demanded action in rape cases in which BJP’s Kuldeep Singh Sengar and Chinmayanand have been accused and raised the issues of Kashmir, mob lynching of Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand, the attack on Dalits in Bhima Koregaon and the demolition of a Ravidas temple in Delhi.

Explaining the step taken by the university, acting Vice-Chancellor Krishna Kumar Singh said, “Action was taken in view of the prohibition in force against protests in groups during the period of model code of conduct for the Maharashtra assembly election. Our letter is very clear on the matter.”

The students have alleged that they had been denied permission to write the letter but there was no mention of the code of conduct.

According to Saroj, the students were to gather at Gandhi Hill on the university campus on October 9, which was also BSP founder Kanshi Ram’s death anniversary, so the two programmes were merged. But they were denied entry to the area and asked to leave by Acting Registrar Rajeshwar Singh, Acting V-C K K Singh and Proctor Manoj Kumar.

Later at night, the expulsion letters were issued against six students. “We went ahead and posted the letter to the PM on October 10,” Saroj said.

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