April 12, 2021 2:20:34 am
The Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) administration has come down heavily on a final-year BA History (Honours) student for “defacement of University property” with punitive actions that include discontinuing his registration for the ongoing semester and a fine of almost Rs 40,000.
The third-year student, Priyansh Maurya, was suspended last month by the administration and debarred from entering the campus pending an inquiry into a March 9 protest organised by the SFI — to demand the re-opening of the campus and restarting physical classes – during which slogans had reportedly been written on walls. Maurya is convener of SFI’s AUD unit.
The university authorities said he cannot write the exam this semester. He has to write the exams the next semester, results for which will be declared the semester after that subject to compliance of other conditions imposed on him. Maurya’s fee for one semester is Rs 20,400
SFI released a statement saying discontinuing Maurya’s registration for the semester, which is his last, amounts to stopping him from graduating by a year. It also referred to Maurya’s actions as drawing protest graffiti on walls.
Maurya has now received a proctorial order which states that he “had defaced the University walls and damaged the University Property (Public Property), which is in clear violation of AUD’s Code of Discipline for Student”.
The order has issued a fine of Rs 39,442 “toward the cost for damage of university property” and has barred him from entering campus till the fine is paid. It also states that his registration for the programme at the University is discontinued for the Winter Semester 2021, which is his ongoing final semester.
The university PRO’s office stated that the amount the student has been fined amounts to 50% of the cost of repairing the “defaced property”, and stated that “the student was not drawing graffiti on the walls of the University and has rather defaced the property”. The office also stated that such action, including issuing a fine and de-registering for a semester, has been taken against students for similar violations in the past.
“In the AUD campus, there are spaces specifically dedicated to the students named as ‘Wall of Democracy’. There are 15 Walls of Democracy in the Kashmere Gate Campus, which are being used by students to express themselves. The University Campus has been recently renovated because of scheduled visit of NAAC peer team. The renovation is being done with public funds and for the benefit of larger student community as well as University Campus. Students in the past also have been requested not to deface the property,” stated the PRO’s office.
Maurya has also been asked to submit an apology letter through his parents and to seek counselling at AUD’s Ehsaas Clinic for anger management and submit a verified report from the session.
“I have written to the university administration to explain what the point was about discontinuing my registration for this semester entails. From what I understand, it essentially means having to repeat this semester next year. I have started preparing for my masters admissions but now my immediate future looks uncertain… Asking for an apology letter through my parents is also very unnecessary and they are trying to harass me. I can take decisions myself, this is not a school for children,” he said.
The SFI statement added, “No student of AUD has been asked to discontinue and repeat an entire year for making graffiti on the walls of the premises. The administration is setting a dangerous precedent and trying to curb voices of the student community.”
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