A final-year undergraduate student of Ambedkar University, Delhi was fined nearly Rs 40,000 by the varsity administration for allegedly “defacing” the campus walls.
On Friday, 9th April , 2021 the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) organized a protest on the Kashmere Gate campus of the Ambedkar University of Delhi (AUD), demanding that classes be held in person. Later, the SFI Ambedkar University Delhi convenor, Priyansh Maurya was suspended by the University’s Administration for drawing graffiti on the campus walls.
Maurya, a history student, told The Hindustan Times that he was shocked to receive the order, adding, “Making graffiti on the campus wall has been a culture of AUD…I completely deny that I drew the graffiti out of uncontrollable anger, for which the administration is referring me to the Ehsaas Clinic for anger management.”
Maurya while speaking to DU Beat said,
“After reading the judgement I was stunned, though I have been told by the administration that nothing serious would happen and they kept on pressurizing me that I should focus more upon on the completion of my course, but after hearing the fine money for just three graffiti with assertions such as anger problems. I kept on persuading the university that they shouldn’t send the letter to my house. They are personally targeting me because I have been actively involved in the Campus politics engaging with the student issue from the very beginning. I don’t come from a rich family and the amount of fine alongside the anger accusations takes a heavy mental toll upon me. Due to the COVID situation, we can’t organize any protest but we’re actively trying to reach the Media regarding this issue, we’re sending solidarity statement emails from every department to the University to revoke these respective penalties.”
The AUD administration made a public statement regarding this saying that the proctorial committee was constituted to conduct an inquiry in the matter submitted its report, adding that Maurya was required to pay a fine of Rs 39,442 towards the cost of damage of the university property.
The administration has also barred Maurya from the campus till he pays the fine and also scrapped his registration for the winter semester. The university has also asked for an “apology letter through his parents.” The university administration claims that Maurya had admitted that his actions were due to a “bout of uncontrollable anger”, but on the other hand, Maurya denies this.
The notice issued by the University states, “Maurya is advised to seek counselling at AUD Ehsaas Clinic for his anger management and submit a report verified by the centre of psychotherapy and clinical research school of human studies for the session attended by him before joining the 2021 monsoon semester.”
Elizabeth Alexander, another student of the AUD and an SFI member spoke to DU Beat saying:
“The attack on SFI Convener Priyansh is an attack on the voice of dissent. He has been at the forefront in multiple fights against the administration’s anti-student policies, ranging from Code of Discipline to changes made to AUD’s Reservation Policy. Forcing a student like Priyansh who comes from a marginalized community to pay a hefty fine that is close to his fees for 2 semesters and de-registering him for a trivial matter shows how intolerant the administration is towards students’ resistance. Priyansh represents all those students who demand reopening of the University to be able to pursue their education, given the digital divide. The University’s response is out in the open. We will fight for our comrade and uphold the right to expression at all costs.”
The university’s public relations officer stated, “He has been found to have defaced the property of the university in the past as well. As his acts were in clear violation of the AUD’s code of discipline for students, he has been fined ?40,000 which is commensurate with the 50% cost of repairing the defaced property.”
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat