IIT Madras row: Free speech our right, says Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi, May 29: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras was at the centre of controversy on Friday over derecognition of a students' group, many of whom are Dalits, following a complaint that it was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, triggering protests from Congress and AAP. [IIT Madras students' body derecognised]

In Assam, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani backed IIT's action, saying the institute has clearly stated that some procedures by the students' organisation was not followed and it knew that Dean will de-recognise it for violating norms. [Not against students' freedom of expression: IIT Madras]

rahul-gandhi

In Delhi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said, "Free speech is our right. We will fight any attempt to crush dissent and debate".

"IIT student group banned for criticizing Modi Government. What next? he said, according to tweets by his office.

Scores of NSUI workers today protested outside Irani's official residence in Delhi over the issue.

The protesters from Congress' students wing raised anti-government slogans and accused the HRD Ministry of being behind the action against the body.

After the protest HRD Minister reacting to the row said, "Students' organization knew that if procedures are not followed that body will be derecognized by Dean. Some procedures by students' organization were not followed."

Smriti Irani also added, "This is an autonomous institution which takes its own steps,I know people in Congress are very interested in finding some flaw in HRD."

PTI

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