Puducherry: In an alleged case of discrimination, a Puducherry University student was denied permission to attend her convocation ceremony after she refused to remove her hijab.

Notably, the convocation ceremony had President Ram Nath Kovind as the chief guest.

The student, identified as Rabeeha Abdurehim, who is a gold medalist in MA Mass Communication course, claimed that she was stopped by security forces as she refused to remove her hijab. After her refusal, she was asked to remain seated outside the auditorium.

After the President left, the department staff called her and distributed the rest of the certificates but she denied accepting the gold medal as a mark of protest. She said it was a big insult to her and her community and expressed hope that her act of rejecting the medal would convey a strong message to the Centre.

“I rejected the medal to protest the ill-treatment meted out to me. The security guard prevented me from going to the venue and treated me as a suspect as if I was going to do something and I don’t know what. I have also rejected the medal as a show of solidarity to students across India who are fighting for what is India right now,” Rabeeha said.

Further, Rabeeha also said that she rejected the honour in solidarity with students protesting against the NRC and the CAA and hoped that her act of rejecting the medal would convey a strong message to the Centre.

Sources in the police department told News18 that the administration was wary that she might raise slogans in front of the President or reject the award. University officials, however, denied having told her to step out of the auditorium.

Meanwhile, some reports claim that some other students decided to skip the ceremony as they did not want to receive the award from President Kovind who gave his nod to the CAA.