Communist Party of India [CPI(M)] leader Prakash Karat on Wednesday (January 22) was not allowed to enter Ambedkar University, where he had gone to deliver a talk about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The varsity denied permission to Karat citing the model code of conduct for Delhi elections, according to Student Federation of India (SFI) which organised the event.
Karat addressed the students while standing outside the varsity gate, which was locked. Police personnel were deployed outside the gate.
The SFI had sought permission for the talk on the issues of CAA, National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), but were not allowed by the university.
Karat said the university authorities “obviously do not” know the law.
“They have denied permission for a meeting on CAA on the pretext that there is a model code of conduct in place because of the Delhi elections. The MCC is related to the assembly election and election campaign and nothing to do with a seminar inside a university. It is ridiculous,” he said.
“The university authorities have suppressed debate and discussion within their campus,” he alleged. “Permission was sought yesterday and was denied on this pretext (MCC),” he said, adding that the students did not accept the diktat of the authorities and listened to him through the locked gates.
There was no immediate reaction from the university.
According to an SFI functionary, the model code of conduct seemed to be just an excuse. “He (Karat) himself is not contesting the Delhi polls and his party is also not in the poll fray,” he said.
He claimed that earlier the varsity would allow permission for events, but of late “it does not give permission for events organised by them.” “Seeing the turnout of students, Karat delivered the talk while standing outside the varsity gate, which was locked and police were also present,” he said.
Meanwhile, Badal Prakash, a functionary of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), said they had informed the varsity administration about the event since it was happening without the permission of authorities and at a time when the model code of conduct is in place. The administration then intervened in the matter.
A police team was deployed outside the gate of the varsity to ensure that no untoward incident takes place, a senior police official said, adding the varsity had not granted permission for the programme.
Students who had gathered near the gate also shouted slogans against the university administration.