In a novel protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the students of the Hyderabad-based Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) have launched a campaign to post one lakh postcards to the President Ramnath Kovind seeking his intervention to revoke the controversial law.
“There is overwhelming response from the students to our initiative. We are providing post cards to the students and asking them to post them to the President,” MANUU students’ union president Umar Faruq said.
Efforts are also being made to rope in the students of other universities across the country to join the postcard campaign.
As part of the initiative, Umar Faruq and union vice-president Intekhab Alam would visit Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University, Jamia University, and Aligarh Muslim University to urge the students there to join the postcards campaign.
Last week, the MANUU students had shot off a letter to Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, asking him to ensure that the state’s Legislative Assembly passed a resolution against CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“CAA, NRC, and NPR are against the spirit of Indian Constitution and pose a threat to the secular ethos of this country. Our country needs to register unemployed youth and uneducated children, not NRC and NPR,” the letter said.
The students’ union wrote similar letters to non-BJP chief ministers, requesting them to pass resolutions in their respective assemblies against CAA and NRC.
Along with MANUU, the anti-CAA protests are being held at University of Hyderabad (UoH) and Osmania University.
Meanwhile, a police case has been filed against 22 students from UoH for taking out a rally on Republic Day without permission. The students have been booked under charges of wrongful restraint, unlawful Assembly, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace and public nuisance.
Students’ Union president Abhishek Nandan and general secretary Gopi Swamy are among those against whom the cases were booked.
On Sunday (January 26), the University students’ union took out a ‘Save Constitution’ rally from the campus to protest against the CAA and the proposed NRC. They marched to the Ambedkar statue in Masjid Banda area, close to the campus in Gachibowli.
However, the police tried to prevent the students from leaving campus by closing the gates. In protest, the students sat in dharna at the main gate and raised slogans against the police. The students did not have permission for the rally.
The students alleged that though they had approached the Gachibowli police for permission, it was denied without any valid reasons.
Condemning the FIR against the students, the students’ union accused the police of intimidating them with false charges. The union, in a statement, said, “On the very day when the Constitution was adopted by India 70 years ago, Telangana police have deprived the students of their fundamental right of peaceful gathering and rally.”
“At a time when Constitutional ethos are being choked and fundamental rights of the citizens are denied, this heinous act of Telangana police is an attempt to instill fear among the students. The students’ union assures that these false charges and intimidation by the police will not be able to suppress the democratic rights of the students of University of Hyderabad. We will struggle in every democratic means possible to uphold the teachings of Babasaheb Ambedkar,” the statement said.