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BHU: Students refuse to take degrees, professors campaign against CAA, NRC

The BHU protest against the CAA is a huge embarassment for the ruling BJP and its mentor RSS

Thursday December 26, 2019 11:32 AM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Protest against CAA, NRC

Varanasi: A number of students refused to collect their degrees at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Convocation Tuesday protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and police brutaltiy, and to show their solidarity with those arrested for raising their voice.

"I refuse to collect my degree today at BHU Convocation to protest and condemn the arrest of the students after December 19 agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act. I condemn these arrests", Rajat, a MA student, said in a video posted on Twitter.

"I also condemn the "communal" Citizenship Act and all other laws that divide the country", he added.

"The students who are arrested by the police should also have been with us today to collect their degrees. But, the university is not concerned. Hence, I refuse to take my degree", he said from the Convocation stage.

Anti-CAA Protest at BHU followed the similar incident at Jadavpur University when a gold medalist student raised slogans "Inquilab Zindabaad" and "Hum Kagaz Nahi Dikhayenge" to condemn the recently enacted law.

Of the 12 arrested students, three are PhD students and eight are doing their M.A. degree and one is a B.A. student. At least three of these arrested live in hostels inside the campus and have mentioned this under the address section of the First Information Report (FIR).

BHU Professors too against CAA

On the other hand, 51 professors of the prestigious Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and its affiliated colleges have launched a signature campaign against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The BHU protest against the CAA is a huge embarassment for the ruling BJP and its mentor RSS because the varsity is seen as a right-wing institution that rarely involves itself in mainstream politics.

The move comes after the arrest of at least a dozen of BHU students for participating in a protest called by Left organisations on December 19.

In a signed document, the professors have said: "We request the government to rethink the long-term implications of the CAA and hope national interest would prevail over partisan politics. We also urge the protesters not to indulge in any kind of violence and express their disagreement through democratic and peaceful means."

BHU students stood with arrested students in CAA case. They have expressed their solidarity with those arrested by the police and demanded their immediate release.

An eight-year-old boy died in a stampede allegedly triggered by police baton-charging in a different part of Varanasi on the same day as the BHU students were arrested. The students claim that they were protesting peacefully.

Apart from the students, members of civil society groups and activists have also been under arrest since December 19.

A total of 69 people have been arrested by Varanasi police and in many locations, they have pasted posters with faces of alleged rioters in the "wanted" list.

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