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MP University Calls Apoorvanand, Gauhar Raza for Webinar, Police Tells VC ‘Sentiments Shouldn’t be Hurt’

In an unprecedented transfer, a police superintendent has written a letter to the vice-chancellor of a central college in Madhya Pradesh, elevating objections to sure names, who’ve been invited as audio system to a global webinar. The letter has cautioned the VC of submitting a case below Section 505 IPC towards the organisers if the presence of the audio system results in unrest or deterioration of legislation and order scenario.

On July 30-31, there might be a global seminar on the subject — ‘Cultural and Linguistic Hurdles in the Achievement of Scientific Temper’ by Department of Anthropology of Dr Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar, collectively organised by Montclair State University, US. The webinar has a distinguished checklist of audio system — Gauhar Raza, former chief scientist CSIR, Professor Apoorvanand, University of Delhi, amongst others.

Professor Nadeem Hasnain, University of Lucknow, Professor Harjinder Singh, IIIT Hyderabad, Professor Panchanan Mohanty, GLA University, Mathura, Dr Grazyna Liczbinska from Poland, Dr Aseem Hasnain, Bridgewater State University, US, and Dr Gaurav J Pathania, Georgetown University, US, are the opposite audio system.

The ABVP has, nevertheless, attacked the organisers for calling Prof Apoorvanand and Guhar Raza to the webinar. Following the protest, on July 29, JD Ahi, the Vice-Chancellor of Dr Harisingh Gour Central University acquired a letter from Police Superintendent Atul Singh.

The letter learn: “We have received representations from certain groups regarding the webinar on July 30-31, 2021 that is being organised by the Anthropology department of the university. It is brought to our notice that the speakers are considered to have an anti-national mindset and make provocative speeches. They are suspected of creating communal discord.”

“Keeping law and order in mind it is advisable that before holding this webinar, there is clarity and consensus over the topic of discussion and the content. So that no caste or religious sentiments are hurt, and no such comments are made. And if even then there are concerning issues, then the organiser would be collectively answerable and booked under 505 IPC,” it mentioned.

Section 505 states that whoever makes, publishes or circulates any assertion, hearsay or report with intent to incite communities shall be punished with imprisonment.

The ABVP Protest

On 22 July, the ABVP wrote to the VC, protesting the point out of Gauhar Raza and Apoorvanand within the webinar. They wrote to the VC, saying, “We will protest and file an FIR. We will demand closure of the university indefinitely.” The letter was signed by Shreeram Richaria, ABVP district convener. The ABVP additionally requested the organiser to “provide the list of speakers along with an explanation of calling ‘A’”.

Following a letter from police, the VC wrote to the organisers citing the January 2021 notification of the federal government laws concerning worldwide webinars.

The letter to the organiser, Dr Rajesh Gautam, the convener of the programme, mentioned, “It has been brought to the notice of the Competent Authority that in respect of holding online virtual international webinar, approval of the administrative secretary is required for the event as well as the list of participants, in terms of aforementioned revised guidelines.”

“In view of the above, I am directed to request you to initiate the process of seeking approval of secretary department higher education. If you proceed further without the said approval, the university administration will not be responsible for consequences, if any, and you being the convener of the international webinar will be held liable for the same,” mentioned the letter.

Not authorised to talk: Event Convener contacted the VC for a touch upon the matter, however he disconnected the decision and didn’t reply to textual content messages both. Registrar of the college Santosh Shagora mentioned the webinar just isn’t cancelled, however he has to take inventory of latest developments to talk to the media.

Convener Gautam, nevertheless, mentioned, “The administration had asked us to inform the Government of India about the international virtual webinar according to the revised guidelines, and we have done that just now. We are not authorised to speak.”

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