Published: 06th July 2021
No action against students for speaking against govt: Delhi Deputy CM Sisodia calls penalised AUD student to apologise
Even though Education Minister Sisodia addressed the penalty levied on the girl, he did not comment on the issues the students have been protesting about
A week after a postgraduate student from Dr BR Ambedkar University, Delhi was fined Rs 5,000 for using "distasteful" language during the virtual convocation which was presided over by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia called the student to say that what had happened was wrong and assured that no action will be taken against her. Not just that, Sisodia came out with a statement saying that this should not have happened — "no action should be taken against any student for expressing a viewpoint that is different from the government's or the university's".
Neha, a second-year student of MA in Performance Studies, got a call from the Deputy CM, who is also the Education Minister of Delhi, on the evening of July 5. "He told me that he had read about the enquiry and the fine and that he thought they were wrong and this should not have happened. He also assured me that no action would be taken against me," she recalled. Neha and her friends relentlessly commented against the changed reservation policy under which a student has to get get a caste certificate from Delhi to apply for under for a reserved seat. They also protested about the fee hike which allegedly forced marginalised students to give up their education because of financial issues during the lockdown.
The notice from Sisodia said that there were two things that went wrong. Firstly, the student should not have been penalised for mere voicing an opinion and secondly, since the allegations were against the government, they should have been informed before any action was taken. He also directed the Principal Secretary of Education to look into the issue and ensure that no action is taken against the student. Even though Sisodia addressed the penalty, he did not comment on the issues the students have been protesting about.
But she had denied having used any abusive or "distasteful" language in her comments and said that she only protested about the fee hike and the changes in the reservation policy at the Delhi government university. She along with a few others had used the hashtag #AntiStudentKejriwal in their comments.