The students of Jamia Millia Islamia started a protest on Friday, 1st February. The protest was initiated by the students of 2nd year, Applied Arts students for the removal of the HOD (Head of the Department) Hafeez Ahmad. The HOD has been alleged of misconduct, harassment and regional biasness. A group of students in the second year decided to speak up against the issues with the HOD, they were joined by the alums who have passed out but finally got a chance to talk about their personal take. There protests initiated earlier as well, but they failed as the HOD tried to shut them down with the help of hooligans.
The students sent a letter addressed to the vice-chancellor and dean of students’ welfare, students alleged Hafeez Ahmad marked them without checking assignments and threatened them. As reported by The Hindustan Times, students began protesting after alleging that their assignments from previous semester, which were submitted in an enclosed envelope, had not been opened before being returned.
The teachers had boycotted the department after the protest began, the freshers had no classes, but it has started since this week but aren’t really working!
The Applied Art department faced a lot of issues, when the guest lecturers came in, they were not educated enough. They did not have the appropriate knowledge to be shared with the students, and if the students raised questions or had some doubts, they would simply say that search it on Google.
A student of 2nd Year Applied Arts told Youth Ki Awaaz, “The HOD made such an environment in the campus that whoever spoke against him would either be kicked out, if a teacher or if that’s a student then he/she would be threatened.” The student also said that the teacher appointed certain students to keep an eye on the key protests today out of the class and that too without permission.
“I spend 4 years in Jamia applied arts. At that time, Hafiz was a real mental torture. He exploited lot of students with his own whims and fancies . He was a very rude, insensitive, biased and directionless professor. I really support the students and comprehend with them.” Jaishree Kuldeep on Change.org
A third-year student who doesn’t want to be named alleged the HoD sent her unsolicited text messages and made her uncomfortable, “Sometime back, I wasn’t coming to college because I was ill. Sir used to text me addressing me as ‘dear’, ‘appi’ and ‘queen’ to ask me how I was. He would often send me irrelevant text messages and all I did was save screenshots of those messages, thinking that I will someday confront him. Since he was in charge of the entire department, I could neither block him nor could I confront him.”
A group of students also shared that he has some specific favorite students whom he would only give marks to, who appeased him and fed him biryani.
Farah, a protestor amongst the Applied Arts student said, ‘The female students also faced ill treatment by a few people in the faculty itself, and when they tried to report it, the HOD took no action against it.’ She also mentioned that Ahmad said openly that a woman’s success is judged by no. of the relationships she has had. As far as we know, the Indian Constitution gives no right to talk about anyone’s personal life and has given no one the authority to intervene in anyone’s life. Ahmad violated the laws, and being a HOD his work was to impart knowledge to the students and not to make them protest on such an issue.
The students also shared that they are on a hunger strike and would not get up until their demands are fulfilled.
As of now, some pet students of the HOD have been roaming around, shouting on the Freshers who took the initiative of sharing the petition and are strongly involved with the protest. They also tore a few posters hanging around in the campus.
In the evening of 7th January, outside the office of Vice Chancellor, the goons of the college fed by the HOD came in and started opposing the students who were non violently protesting. They indulged in a fight with the students, misbehaved with women and one of them is in the Holy Family hospital, New Friends Colony as of now.
Akansha, a student of MFA said that, the favourite students of Hafeez, namely Wasif and other students of 1st year barged in, manhadled her, pulled her hair violently even after her resisting. They were the students who are marked free attendance and marks even when they do not submit one assignment.
Students are currently protesting outside the VC’s office demanding the resignation of the HOD Hafeez Ahmad along with an FIR to be lodged by the administration against him, as reported by Pinjra Tod.
“We will sit here till our demands are met.”