The Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay on Friday claimed that a controversial directive recently issued by its dean of student affairs asking students not to participate in “anti-national activities” was “not against peaceful expression of opinion in individual capacity”, ANI reported. The circular came amid widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act being organised on the campus since last month.
The centrally funded institution said the 15 code of conduct points sent to students was a reminder of “standard and existing” hostel rules, NDTV reported. “With regard to the recent circular sent to students, we wish to reiterate that these are standard and existing rules for hostels assimilated from all IITs and were sent to all students to remind them to abide by the hostel rules and not disturb the peaceful academic atmosphere within the hostels and academic areas.”
The institution pointed out that it was “strictly apolitical” in its views, and reminded students that it does not endorse any political ideology. “However, any student is free to express his or her opinion in the individual capacity as per rights and responsibilities enshrined in our Constitution,” it added.
The dean had warned students to not participate in any “anti-national and undesirable activities” or distribute posters on the campus. IIT-Bombay also prohibited speeches, plays, music and other activities that might disturb the “peace of the hostel environment”.
IIT-Bombay for Justice, a student collective, have been organising daily protests against the citizenship law, including lectures and film screenings. The institution’s faculty members have also condemned the police crackdown on students of Jawaharlal Nehru University earlier this month.