Hyderabad: The Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi seems to have no record of the damage and loss of its assets during the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Hyderabad-based activist Kareem Ansari filed a RTI to the university, asking details of how much of its property was damaged because of the infamous police crackdown on December 15, 2019.
It may be recalled that university property, including the library, was damaged during the police action. In the aftermath, the university had reportedly estimated the damage at around Rs 2.5 crore. However, surprisingly, in the RTI reply, the university claimed it had no such information to furnish.
Ansari’s RTI query was received by the Public Information Officer (PIO) at Jamia Millia on December 26. The university was asked to provide details of the amount of damage and whether any complaint was made to the concerned authorities. He also asked for information related to insurance claims by the university.
The query was forwarded by the PIO to the proctor and security centre. Chief Proctor, Waseem A Khan and security advisor, Mohad Shahid Khan, in their replies, claimed that they had no information about the damage estimate or insurance.
Ansari said it was puzzling why Jamia refused to share this data. “The visuals of damage at Jamia were telecasted all over by media channels. If they claim they don’t have the information, either the visuals are wrong or the university’s claims are wrong,” he said.
Ansari felt either Jamia Millia’s PIO is under pressure to not release any information or the university itself doesn’t wish to do it. “I plan on filing an appeal on the reply. I want to get to the bottom of this,” he said.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle from Delhi, Ahmad Azeem, public relations officer, Jamia Millia said he wasn’t sure why the university did not share the information in the RTI reply. “I don’t know what happened. Indeed, the university’s property was damaged and we even drafted a report with estimates,” he said. He added that Ansari’s questions could be misunderstood. “We will look into this matter,” he said.