Revoke notice on mandatory permission for protests: DU’s Left student groups


Left student groups of Delhi University (DU) Monday submitted a memorandum to the Dean of Students’ Welfare (DSW) against a notice making prior permission mandatory for holding any protests or gathering on campus.

In a notice dated April 22, Proctor Rajni Abbi had said, “Prior intimation of gathering/protest/ demonstration anywhere in the university is mandatory. Although protests/demonstrations are the legal right of every individual, yet prior permission from the Proctor’s Office is mandatory.”

On Monday, organisations such as the All India Students’ Association (AISA), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) and others submitted a memorandum and alleged that the notice was “only a means of increasing surveillance and curbing democratic practice”.

“This is in regard to a notice released in your name which can only be seen as an unnecessary authoritative action aimed at curbing democratic practice on our campus. The notice dated April 22 asking students to go through a series of formalities for the sake of ‘permission’ to protest can only be seen as curtailment of the freedom to stage political protest inside the university,” they wrote.

“Students have never needed to seek permission to express their opinions politically and will continue to not take permission anyway, but this notice comes as an intimation to the mass of students of DU who chose this university for its democratic nature. The notice demands of organisers to list a number of their personal and academic details to stage their protest. This move will only discourage students from participating in essential democratic activities due to the fear of their information being recorded,” they added.

The organisations said students have “always intimated the Delhi Police and the administration when they stage any protest in DU” but the “criteria of permission is unacceptable”. They demanded that the notice be revoked.

In a statement, the KYS said the notice “begins with making the intimation for the gathering/protest/demonstration mandatory”, “however, in the next sentence it substitutes the word ‘intimation’ for ‘permission’.

“There is a big difference between intimation and permission, and the wording of the notice is in itself contradictory… Taking permission implies that the power to grant permission rests with the university. This in certainty will mean that some protests are denied permission on one pretext or another,” it said.

AISA also said, “Who is the administration to tell us whether we can protest an issue or not? What issues of protest will the admin ‘allow’ and what issues will it not?… Secondly, why does the administration need the course details of students?”

DSW Pankaj Arora and Proctor Rajni Abbi did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express. Revoke notice on mandatory permission for protests: DU’s Left student groups