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Madhya Pradesh: HC notice to Sagar SP and University administration for shelving International webinar

10:27 PM Sep 24, 2021 | Staff Reporter

BHOPAL: The principal bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur has sent notices to Superintendent of Police of Sagar district and registrar of Dr Harisingh Gour University, Sagar for not allowing international webinar following ‘threats from the ABVP’.

Department of Anthropology at university, in collaboration with Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA had proposed to organise an academic online seminar on the subject of ‘Cultural and Linguistic Hurdles in the Achievement of Scientific 12 Temper’ on July 30-31 2021.

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However, the central university has to disassociate itself from the event at the last hour after a letter from SP Sagar Atul Singh ‘warning’ the organisers to book under Section 505 IPC. The letter from SP came after members of ABVP expressed displeasure and threatened to disrupt the programme.

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The speakers included eminent scientist Gauhar Raza, Delhi University Professor Apoorvanand; Lucknow University professor Nadeem Hasnain, IIIT-Hyderabad Professor Harjinder Singh and several other prominent academicians.

RSS affiliated student’s body ABVP wrote to the Vice Chancellor of the University objecting to certain names in the list of the speakers with a warning that a first information report could be filed in the matter.

The ABVP in its letter to VC and SP Sagar had referred to speakers as anti-nationals and threatened to disrupt the seminar if certain speakers were given a platform to speak.

After that SP Sagar Atul Singh had written to VC- “Referring to the past history of anti-national mentality and caste-related statements of the speakers involved, the possibility has been raised about them commenting on Indian culture, tradition, caste system and the ways of religious worship of the majority society leading to it affecting the caste and social harmony.”

SP Singh warned in his letter that ‘if any speaker does any such act of which public publicity or publication creates conditions where one section or community expresses anger towards any other section or community, then its responsibility will be fixed upon the organisers collectively as a punishable offence according to section 505 of Indian Penal Code’.

The petition in High Court termed the whole development as threat to freedom of speech and the letter of SP as illegal.

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