Activists alleged on Wednesday that Nirma University here tried to "intimidate" its students who took part in protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and also advised their parents to `counsel' them. Officials of the varsity, a private university set up under a state act, were not available for comment. A protest had been organised against the CAA and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) outside the Sabarmati Ashram here last week.
Activists of the 'Young India National Coordination Committee' and 'Campaign against CAA-NRC-NPA' on Wednesday shared with the media screen shots of text messages that the university purportedly sent to students and their parents.
"Dear Parents, Greetings from Institute of Law, Nirma University. It has come to our knowledge that your ward was involved in protest against recent issues. "The Police and Intelligence Bureau-IB have taken details of your ward from us," read the SMS.
"We at our end have counselled the students to refrain from any such activities and we also expect the support from your side. This is also to inform you that if your ward continues to participate in the protest, the police might create a record against him. Thanks," the message stated.
The activists alleged that students were being intimidated for participating in a peaceful protest. "Students were forced to give undertakings that they will refrain from participating in any such activities in future," a statement from the activists claimed.
"We demand the concerned authorities retract the messages sent to students and their parents and not to intimidate and harass students for exercising their fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression," it added.
Nirma University officials were not available for comment over the issue. On December 17, college students, activists and others staged a peaceful protest against CAA and NRC outside Sabarmati Ashram, set up by Mahatma Gandhi in 1917.
The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act provides for grant of citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians who migrated from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before 2015 due to persecution.
It has sparked off nation-wide protests. The Act's critics allege that it discriminates against Muslims and violates the principle of secularism.