Rabeeha Image Credit: YouTube

Rabeeha Abdurehim, from the Mass Communication department of a university in Pondicherry University, was about to go into the college’s convocation ceremony where she would be given her gold medal by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind on December 23.

As she entered the auditorium, she told Indian News Channel News 18, she was asked by security to leave the hall. “When I arrived here, when the president came, they told me to come outside,” she said.

While no force was used, she said, she knew exactly why the step was taken. “May be because of my opposition to CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act ) and for having participated in protests over the issue,” she told media.

She said, in an impassioned comment that this move – to exclude her from her own graduation ceremony – was an insult to all the people of India who are fighting “right now”.

When she was finally allowed, the President had left the site, but she was called on stage. She took the certificate. However, she refused her gold medal. “I am rejecting the gold medal…I am an educated person and I do not want a gold medal to tell me what to do. And this is my protest and my solidarity with everyone who is fighting against CAA and NRC, anywhere,” she said.


Abdurehim also spoke on on Facebook about the alleged incident, where she wrote a lenghty post about how much the medal had meant to her as well as what giving it up represented. She ended the post with the following message: "I feel at peace for the fact that i was able to take a stand as an educated youth."

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A screenshot of the post on Facebook Image Credit: Facebook

President Kovind, meanwhile, has tweeted of visit to the college - but made no mention of the alleged incident.