Jamia Students Protest Against Art Dept HOD Over Sexual Harassment
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Students of Jamia Millia Islamia’s (JMI) Department of Applied Arts have been protesting for over a week, demanding the suspension of the Head of the Department, Hafeez Ahmed, who was accused by multiple students of ‘unsolicited advances’ and sexual harassment.
On Thursday, 7 January, some students who were part of the protests were allegedly beaten up, manhandled, and groped by fellow students who were reportedly ‘close’ to the HOD.
Students – some of whom are reportedly on hunger strike – sat in the campus till late Thursday night, demanding that the Vice Chancellor address their concerns, after which they were told to submit a written complaint.
Jamia HOD Sent on ‘Leave’ Amidst Protests
On 8 February, the students collectively called for a protest march to raise their voices against the harassment they were being subjected to and their demands falling on deaf ears.
The students had previously released a charter of demands, on 4 February, that also listed out the problems that they were facing.
According to the same press release, three male students of Faculty of Fine Arts who were involved in manhandling have been “suspended with immediate effect from the University and debarred from entering the Campus and attending the classes for two weeks.”
What Do the University Officials Have to Say?
The press release further adds, “University Administration has already assured protesting students that all their demands will be looked into... University administration spoke to protesting students several times and listened to their grievances and assured all possible efforts for the redressal of their grievances.”
A student from Jamia shared the above video wherein the proctor of the university can be seen addressing the protesting students, assuring them that suitable action will be taken against the HOD and the students accused of manhandling.
What is The Situation Right Now?
However, the students are far from satisfied. Protests continue inside the Jamia campus under heavy police deployment.
Speaking to The Quint, a Masters’ student from Jamia, Akansha Kaushik said that the “action that has been taken against the ‘goons’ is fine but the students are still demanding that the HOD be removed from his position, or at the least an FIR be filed against him; it is at his direction that the protesters were thrashed.”
Another student, Rhythm told The Quint said, “we are not the ‘goondas’, we are protesting for our rights.”
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