Shri Ram College of Commerce cancels talk on citizenship law protests in Northeast

Aranya Shankar

A notice signed by the principal said, “Due to unavoidable circumstances, the programme scheduled today, being organised by the North East Cell, is hereby cancelled.” Image source: Representational Image/ File

Citing “unavoidable circumstances”, the Shri Ram College of Commerce administration Thursday cancelled an event on the Citizenship Amendment Act which was to be organised by the North East Cell of the college. The ABVP-backed students’ union of the college had complained to the principal, and asked that the event be cancelled as it had people from one ideology.

In a statement, members of the cell said they were informed of the decision “in an emergency meeting held mere hours before the event”. A notice signed by the principal said, “Due to unavoidable circumstances, the programme scheduled today, being organised by the North East Cell, is hereby cancelled.”

The event included journalists Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty and Pradyot Manikya, trade unionist Nayan Jyoti, among others. “We were told that they (administration) received information about the possibility of violence on campus if the event was to take place. We were also told our speakers had the ‘same bent of mind’,” the organisers said.

“They also suggested this event be conducted at a later time. We insisted that this was not a politically motivated event and that it was conducted because there exists a complete lack of awareness about the North East protests in college,” they added.

They alleged that the students’ union had spread a message saying that they would “indulge in violence and spread misleading information among the students”.

Nayan Jyoti, who was among the speakers, said he received a call from the principal’s office 45 minutes before the event was to begin. “They said the event was cancelled. They didn’t give any reason,” he said. Gajendra Chaudhary, president of the students’ union, said: “All speakers were from the same ideology. SRCC has always been neutral.” Principal Simrit Kaur did not respond to repeated calls and messages seeking a comment.