144 in Okhla for 60 days; Jamia Millia asks students, teachers not to gather

In a notice issued on Monday, Jamia Millia Islamia has asked its students and teachers not to assemble in and around the campus as police have imposed restrictions under section 144 of the CrPC in the entire Okhla area.

The chief proctor of the university said the SHO of the Jamia Nagar police station has informed that “the restrictions have been imposed since September 19 as information was received that some people or groups may indulge in activities prejudicial to the maintenance of peace.”

The restrictions would be in place in the entire Okhla (Jamia Nagar) area till November 17, according the notice.

All students, and teaching and non-teaching staff of Jamia Millia Islamia are advised not to assemble in and outside the campus in groups or as part of any march, agitation, dharna, or meeting, said the chief proctor.

However, the police and Jamia Millia authorities didn’t clarify the reasons behind imposing restrictions.

Another order which was issued by the assistant commissioner of police of New Friends Colony stated that section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in the Jamia Nagar area on September 19.

Media outlets including Times Now reported that the 144 order is related to the crackdown on Popular Front of India, which Delhi police denied. “It is not related to the action against PFI. The order is 10 days old,” Delhi Police spokesperson Suman Nalwa clarified to IANS.

Section 144 of the CrPC prohibits the assembly of four or more people in an area. Violation of the order is punishable under section 188 of the IPC.

Meanwhile, Jamia’s circular to the students and faculties in view of the order sparked reactions from students.

They accused that the notice came a day after Jamia’s teachers announced a peaceful protest march.

The Jamia Teachers Association (JTA) had on September 25 informed the university about the peaceful protest march on September 27 at 12.30 PM from JTA office to VC office in connection with the issues raised by them in the meeting with the vice-chancellor held on September 8.

“After curbing free speech of students on campus, Jamia Millia Islamia administration is seeking to prevent a peaceful march by teachers by getting the police to impose Section 144 in entire Okhla (Jamia Nagar) area,” responded Students Islamic Organisation to the notice, according to Careers360.

Jamia witnessed students protests previous weeks after the university authorities arbitrarily canceled the MPhil admission of research scholar and prominent Muslim student activist Safoora Zargar.