IIT Kharagpur cancels booking of auditorium for seminar

IIT Kharagpur cancels booking of auditorium for seminar on citizenship

IIT Kharagpur. (Photo: Facebook)

IIT Kharagpur authorities have drawn flack from rights activists for cancelling the booking of one of the institutions' auditorium for a seminar on citizenship. The organisers of the seminar alleged that the booking was abruptly canceled days after it was approved.

The seminar titled “Idea of Citizenship” was organised by IIT Kharagpur’s Science Education Group and was scheduled to be held on Wednesday. According to the organisers the auditorium of the IIT’s Staff Club was booked for the seminar.

“However, a couple of days ahead of the program the Staff Club informed us that booking has been canceled,” said one of the organisers.

Noted human rights activists and vice president of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), one of the oldest human rights organisation in the country Ranjit Sur who was invited to the seminar said that “the ITT Kharagpur authorities decision is an abrupt and undemocratic act. It is a blatant crackdown on free-thinking and freedom of speech,”

He also said that the aim of the seminar was to discuss the concept of citizenship in the context of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, NRC and NPR.

The secretary of the Staff Club Soumitra Karmakar, however, defended the decision saying that the organisers had sought permission only to hold a discussion and they were not aware of the topic.

“After we came to know about the topic of the seminar we canceled the booking as it was controversial,” said Karmakar.

The Registrar of ITT Kharagpur B N Singh said that the ‘ it was up to the Staff Club committee to approve or cancel the booking of the auditorium.”

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