In the wake of protests against the new citizenship law on campus, Jamia Millia Islamia Saturday postponed all its examinations and declared holidays till January 5.
“The winter vacation is declared from December 16 to January 5. The university will reopen on January 6. All examinations are hereby postponed. The rescheduled examination will be notified by Controller of Examinations on the website of the university in due course,” said Registrar A P Siddiqui in a notice.
“All Deans/HoDs/Directors of Centres are directed to ensure that teachers should give award lists of all examinations held till date, and also hold meetings in their respective departments to reschedule the examinations before university reopens,” he added. As per the earlier academic calendar, winter vacations were to be held from December 24 to January 15.
At the protest held on Jamia campus Friday, students and police personnel had clashed, leading to stone pelting by a section of protesters and lathi charge by police personnel, who also used teargas.
On Saturday, too, protests continued, albeit at a smaller scale. Jamia Millia Islamia Metro station was closed for entry and exit for an hour in the evening.
The protest also saw activists such as Shabnam Hashmi in attendance. “People of our generation used to feel what will happen to activism after we die. But the way students in universities are standing up, we can… know that the mashaal has been passed on to thousands,” she said.
Ayesha Akhtar, a BA student at the protest, said, “The new law is against the Constitution. They are attacking our Constitution and I think every person should oppose this; not just the minority groups. We exist because of the Constitution, and they are attacking it…”
Anger against the police was also palpable on the campus. Shahid Mohammad, a PhD student of Jamia who had come to the protest, said, “Democracy works through dissent and by encouraging dissent. Had they allowed the protesters yesterday to travel to Parliament house, we would have submitted our memorandum and come back. That was all that students and teachers had planned to do.”
In the evening, students put up their own barricades and stopped traffic.
Prompted by criticism of a protest going awry in the absence of a students’ union, the students held a meeting on campus late in the evening of all major student organisations — NSUI, CYSS, AISA, SIO, etc — to decide the future course of action.
“We have formed a committee which will comprise two-three members of each organisation. A meeting of that committee will be held soon to decide the future course of action,” said Ajaz Ahmad from AISA.