Teesta Setalvad accuses IISc Bangalore administration of blocking her campus meeting
In a video statement on social media, Setalvad explained that officials denied her entry to the hall at the eleventh hour, compelling them to relocate the meeting to the garden outside the IISc canteen.
Human rights advocate Teesta Setalvad said on Friday (August 18) that her lecture at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was obstructed, with the administration canceling the event moments before it was scheduled to take place.
According to the information available, the event was organised by a group called 'Break the Silence' on Wednesday evening at the IISc campus and the CCE Lecture Hall was booked for the programme.
However, at the last minute, the officials denied her entry to the hall, forcing them to hold the meeting in the garden outside the IISc canteen, Setalvad said in a video statement on social media.
Over 40 professors and students joined the lecture on the IISc campus, she said.
"Yesterday, I had a very unusual experience at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. Some professors and students had invited me for a lecture at the CCE Hall on 'Communal Harmony and Justice' and I think it was a last minute decision of the administration to cancel the meeting," she said.
According to her, the IISc administration even tried to prevent her from entering the institute's gate.
However, over 40 students and professors sat in the garden outside the canteen and had an intense discussions on "justice, peace, the critical juncture where India is at and also the need for citizens today to collectively come together, speak up for rationality, dissent, communal harmony and peace." The activist said, "Communal harmony and peace cannot be a taboo word in modern-day 21st century India." The organisers of the event said she spoke on communal riots and persecution of Muslims and dissenters in India.
The IISc authorities were not available for comment on the issue.
The Supreme Court had granted Setalvad regular bail last month in a case of alleged fabrication of documents to frame innocent people in the 2002 post-Godhra riot cases.
(With agency inputs)