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NAPM extends full solidarity to the protesting students at Jamila Milia Islamia and demands inquiry and action against ‘harasser’ HoD

11th Feb, 2019: National Alliance of People’s Movements extends full solidarity with the students, mostly women, of the Jamia Millia Islamia University, in their struggle against the HoD of Applied Arts Department, who they allege is responsible for multiple reprehensible acts including sexual harassment of students.

The students have been on a peaceful protest for about 10 days now, on account of the reported sexual harassment, threats and intimidation they face at the hands of current HoD, and also on account of favouritism, backdoor entries and administrative irregularities allowed for and by this particular Professor. What has complicated matters is that instead of standing by the aggrieved students and immediately addressing these grave complaints, the Jamia administration has largely ignored the severity of the incidents and the legitimate demands of the students. That the said Professor has been ‘sent on leave’ is not at all a justifiable response in the circumstances of the case.

Shockingly, it has also come to our notice that the protesting women students were physically and sexually assaulted few days back, on the orders of the same HoD! One of the students has also been hospitalized. Unfazed by this, the women students continue their protest, even as students from different universities of the capital have joined the protest in rage and solidarity.

It is the civic and constitutional duty of the faculty and administration to both acknowledge these efforts of students as well as take immediate notice and appropriate time-bound action whenever cases of violence or harassment come to their knowledge. Insensitivity and laxity on the part of the administration will only intensify the protests and affect the credibility of the institution. Also, it is such lack of prompt action by educational institutions which then pushes many women students who face repeated harassment and no redressal, to disbelieve institutions and due process. Universities must ensure that the same does not happen and effective, functional, sensitive, accountable mechanisms of redressal of all such complaints are instituted, both as a legal and ethical duty.

We hope that in the courageous age of #Metoo, the powerful challenge by these students to the administration on the question of sexual harassment and discrimination, misuse of power by the HoD would change the way administration and bureaucracy make light of these cases.  Women and oppressed gender students in the past few years have risen up against the facade of ‘equality’ that Universities like to speak of, while continuing to perpetuate structures of patriarchy. Be it on the question of sexual harassment or questions of discrimination on grounds of caste or religion, women students have asserted themselves in a sharp political manner.

In the case of Benaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, Punjab University, Delhi University, Jadhavpur University or Jamia, we stand inspired by the struggles of these young students, striving to puncture deeply entrenched patriarchy on campuses in multiple ways, democratize university spaces and ensure zero-tolerance of sexual or any form of harassment or violence on campuses. We salute and stand by the resistance put up by these women students in the face of repeated apathy, violence and sexual assault!

NAPM, a pan-Indian alliance of people’s movements earnestly calls upon the Jamia administration to immediately engage with the protesting students, consider their demands, fairly inquire into all the allegations and take prompt steps towards strict institutional and legal action against the HoD. The University is bound to ensure a safe, enabling, non-discriminatory and empowering space to all its students free of any form of physical or sexual violence and we hope the Jamia administration will do the needful immediately in this regard.

Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM);

Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Shankar Singh, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, NAPM;

Dr. Binayak Sen, Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL); Gautam Bandopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha; Kaladas Dahariya, RELAA, NAPM Chhattisgarh;

Prafulla Samantara, Lok Shakti Abhiyan; Lingraj Azad, Samajwadi Jan Parishad & Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, NAPM Odisha;

  1. Chennaiah, Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union-APVVU, Ramakrishnam Raju, United Forum for RTI and NAPM, Meera Sanghamitra, Rajesh Serupally, NAPM Telangana – Andhra Pradesh;

Kavita Srivastava, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL); Kailash Meena, NAPM Rajasthan;

Sandeep Pandey, NAPM, Richa Singh, Sangatin Kisaan Mazdoor Sangathan; Arundhati Dhuru, Manesh Gupta, Suresh Rathaur, Mahendra, NAPM, Uttar Pradesh;

Sister Celia, Domestic Workers Union; Maj Gen (Retd) S.G.Vombatkere, NAPM, Karnataka;

Gabriele Dietrich, Penn Urimay Iyakkam, Madurai; Geetha Ramakrishnan, Unorganised Sector Workers Federation; Arul Doss, NAPM Tamilnadu;

Dr.Sunilam, Adv. Aradhna Bhargava, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti; Rajkumar Sinha, Chutka Parmaanu Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti,NAPM, Madhya Pradesh;

Vilayodi Venugopal, CR Neelakandan, Prof. Kusumam Joseph, Sharath Cheloor, NAPM, Kerala;

Dayamani Barla, Aadivasi-Moolnivasi Astivtva Raksha Samiti, Basant Hetamsaria, Ashok Verma NAPM Jharkhand;

Anand Mazgaonkar, Swati Desai, Krishnakant, Parth, Nita Mahadev, Mudita Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Lok Samiti, NAPM Gujarat;

Vimal Bhai,Matu Jan sangathan; Jabar Singh, NAPM, Uttarakhand;

Samar Bagchi, Amitava Mitra, NAPM West Bengal;

Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe,NAPM, Maharashtra;Bilal Khan, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Mumbai, NAPMMaharashtra;

Anjali Bharadwaj, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), NAPM;

Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar, J S Walia, NAPM Haryana;

Guruwant Singh, NAPM Punjab;

Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan; Mahendra Yadav,KosiNavnirman Manch; Sister Dorothy, Ujjawal Chaubey, NAPM Bihar;

Bhupender Singh Rawat, Jan Sangharsh Vahini; Sunita Rani, Domestic Workers Union;Nanhu Prasad, Nirman Mazdoor Union; Rajendra Ravi, Madhuresh Kumar, Himshi Singh, Uma, NAPM, Delhi

For any further details, contact: 7337478993, 9971058735 | napmindia@gmail.com

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