'Jamia dropped me from speaker's list'

'Jamia dropped me from speaker's list'

BJP leader Shazia Ilmi has kicked up a row by accusing Jamia Millia Islamia University vice chancellor Talat Ahmed of forcing the organisers of a summit to drop her name from the list of speakers and reschedule it with revised topics for discussion.

The university, however, refuted the charge, maintaining that it did not organise the summit and its role was limited to providing space for holding the event on the premises.

The Forum For Awareness Of National Security organised the summit at the university on Wednesday to deliberate on the topic: “Muslim Women’s Empowerment — Issues and Challenges”.

The NGO had initially scheduled to hold the summit at the university on February 16 and triple talaq was listed as one of the topics for discussion. Shazia was among the speakers.

“But the organisers had to reschedule the event for February 28 and also drop the session on triple talaq along with my name from the list of the speakers under pressure from the highest level — the vice chancellor. They did it because I am a BJP member. So, where is my freedom of speech? Nobody is talking about it,” Shazia said.

NGO convenor Shailesh Vats also accused the “entire management” of the university of putting pressure and getting the session on triple talaq dropped.

“They told us they cannot allow a session on triple talaq, describing the topic as very sensitive. They also asked us to revise the list of speakers. We raised objections, but we had no other option except to follow what they demanded,” Vats said.

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