On Wednesday evening, protesting students at Jamia Millia Islamia called off their dharna after the university announced that it would not let delegates from Israel take part in any events on campus.
The university has also called off the disciplinary action they had initiated against five students, who had been issued show-cause notices for protesting a university event. The event, which was held by the Faculty of Architecture, was in partnership with Israel.
“We all are aware of the Human Rights violation being committed by Israeli occupation forces in Palestine and we felt it our responsibility to oppose Israel backed event on campus,” read a statement by protesting students. They had also raised Palestinian flags as a part of their protest.
“From the vocal support given to Palestine by the Jamia’s founding fathers to the commemoration of figures like Yasser Arafat and Edward Said by naming conference halls after them, Jamia has always retained deep solidarity with the struggle of Palestinian people. The administration that slanders against us and accuses us of tarnishing Jamia’s image is itself selling off the legacy of our founding fathers,” the statement further reads.
The peacefully protesting students had been assaulted by security guards as well as members of the Proctorial team. Moreover, they had been protesting for almost 10 days without any engagement from the administration. They did not respond to the show-cause notices issued by the university as they felt they had done nothing wrong.
It is surprising that students were targeted for protesting in solidarity with Palestine since in 2014 the administration had released a statement condemning the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
The Proctor claimed that the event was not held in association with Israel, but a delegate from the country had come to present a paper. However, the students allege that there are several documents showing that Israel was the partner country for the event.
Students of Jamia had previously been issued show-cause notices for protesting against the HoD of the Fine Arts department on account of sexual harassment allegations and passing of lewd comments.