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BHU student refuses to accept degree to protest December 19 arrests

A video that went viral on social media purportedly shows the student, Rajat Singh, on stage during the convocation ceremony. He is seen purportedly explaining his stance to the Dean of the arts faculty, who is seen offering him the certificate, which Rajat does not accept.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
Updated: December 25, 2019 5:59:58 am
Rajat Singh during the convocation ceremony.

A Banaras Hindu University (BHU) student on Tuesday refused to accept his masters degree as a mark of protest against the arrest of “several BHU students” who were held on December 19 for taking part in a stir against the new citizenship law and violating section 144 CrPC.

However, BHU spokesperson Rajesh Singh said it could not be confirmed if those arrested include BHU students as the police had not given the varsity authorities any list of those arrested. Varanasi Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) P Prabhakar Chaudhary said 54 persons arrested from Beniyabagh area last Thursday but it could not be confirmed if any student from the BHU was among them.

A video that went viral on social media purportedly shows the student, Rajat Singh, on stage during the convocation ceremony.

He is seen purportedly explaining his stance to the Dean of the arts faculty, who is seen offering him the degree certificate, which Rajat does not accept.

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“I am a History of Art student and we had our convocation Tuesday. I did not accept my degree because several students were arrested during protests the new citizenship law on December 19 and I oppose the arrests. I oppose this communal law, I oppose any law that attempts to divide the nation. Some students who had their convocation on Tuesday are in jail and the administration does not even bother,” Rajat told mediapersons later.

Joint Action Committee (JAC) member and a first year MA student at BHU, Priyesh Pandey, claimed that 12 of those arrested last Thursday were BHU students and were still in jail. “Among the 12, there are 3 Ph.D students and one BA student. The remaning are MA students. On Tuesday, these students were denied bail by a sessions court and the next date of hearing is January 1. These students are in jail and the administration is doing nothing,” he alleged.

University spokesperson Rajesh Singh said, “If they [police] send us a record of those arrested , we can match that with our dossier… Only then we can say anything for sure. Also, even if someone has been arrested while breaking the law outside the BHU campus, there isn’t much the university can do. There is no reason why the BHU should be bothered if someone is doing something in their personal capacity.”

SSP Chaudhary said, “These persons were not arrested from the BHU but from Beniyabagh while protesting along with a crowd of nearly 400 others. They are not BHU students but there were some leaders from left front parties. They had come with a plan despite knowing that a protest was not allowed there as Beniyabagh, which is around 8 km from BHU, is a sensitive area. We did not even go to the BHU and we cannot confirm if there is any BHU student [among those arrested],” he said.

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