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Univ student returns gold medal in protest, 'was barred from Kovind event'

Pondicherry University student claimed she was asked by a senior police officer to leave the auditorium before the commencement of the convocation

Puducherry | Ram Nath Kovind | Citizenship Act

Agencies  |  Puducherry 

Rabeeha Abdurehim
Image posted by Rabeeha Abdurehim

A woman student of the Pondicherry University, a gold medal winner, alleged that she was prevented from attending the convocation ceremony on Monday at which President was the chief guest.

Rabeeha Abdurehim, who hails from Kerala and had done her Masters course in Mass Communication, also refused to accept the gold medal to express solidarity with students protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The student claimed she was asked by a senior police officer to leave the auditorium before the commencement of the convocation.

She was allowed into the auditorium after the President left when the ceremony continued to present gold medals and certificates to the outgoing graduates.

Speaking to ANI, she said this could be because she "wore a scarf in a different way".

"I learnt when the students inside asked police they said maybe it is because she is wearing a scarf in a different way. That could also be the reason why they sent me out but nobody told me blatantly on my face... They only said they wanted to have a word with me. After the President left, I was allowed to go inside," she said.

Rabeeha Abdurehim said she received the degree scroll and declined to accept the gold medal to express solidarity with students protesting the CAA.

"When they asked to come on stage to receive the gold medal, I rejected it. I did not want the gold medal because what is happening in India is worse. This is in solidarity with students and all the people who are fighting against NRC, CAA and police brutality in a very peaceful way," Rabeeha said.

"Educated youth will not put up with injustice anywhere. They will continue protesting against NRC and CAA," she added.

The convocation ceremony continued after the president left the campus and an university official handed over the certificates and medals.

An official in the University told PTI that they did not know what had happened outside.

"The ceremony went off well," the official said.

The convocation, also attended by Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, was held in the midst of tight security in and around the campus.

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First Published: Mon, December 23 2019. 19:35 IST