[I just got this message from a friend who teaches at UoH and has been trying to support students there. The situation sounds so serious, I asked her permission to post part of the email on Kafila]
… It has been a very crazy time for us here. However, at this point, in my personal opinion the highest priority is to remove the blockade of entry into the campus. Let me document for you what is still happening in the campus.
1. Parents of students arrested and sister of Thathagata, the arrested faculty member are also not being allowed into campus.
2. Bhim Rao who is the currently acting lawyer of the Velivada students was also not allowed into the campus yesterday. Two of us faculty went and fought with the security officer and told him to give in writing that following the orders of the registrar, he is refusing entry of the lawyer into the campus. Then, he talked to the Registrar, went and got approval and allowed the lawyer in.
3. Rohith’s mother has attempted entry into the campus alone and with the help of civil society multiple times and has been refused entry always. On March 26th morning she was coming to the univ. and fell ill due to her high BP and her right hand going numb. She needed immediate medical attention. When a faculty member attempted to bring her into the campus so she can be looked at by the doctors in the health centre, she was not allowed. Then, doctors went out of the main gate and measured her vital parameters and got her shifted to a hospital. She was under observation for 24hrs.
4. There is still police patrolling on campus.
5. We hear now that new names have been added to an existing FIR in which students are named but not yet arrested.
So, the harassment continues. Students are standing strong despite the extreme intimidation by the administration.
I am sorry to say this and I may be accused of overstating it. However, I feel we are in Chattisgarh when I see the mainstream newspapers. We are in a war without witnesses too, it seems. No reporter is even attempting entry into the campus. There is no media outrage at what is happening on campus. There are no opinion pieces on what is happening on campus from any of the intelligentia of this country in the newspapers. I remember seeing a piece every day about JNU and we were with them. But, we now feel utterly abandoned by all. Is there no way to pressure at least the print media to cover what is happening? Maybe we do not know how to be publicity savvy?! We are stretched so thin trying to protect students – whenever there is any demo by students and so on, at least two of us faculty are around to be at least a witness if not to stop any attacks.
Appreciate any help/advice from you people on this. But, our appeal is that civil society with political parties HAS TO BREAK THE BLOCKADE OF ENTRY. The Registrar’s order states: political parties, politicians, external student organisations and media ONLY. How come lawyers are not being allowed inside? How come parents and families of affected students and faculty are not being allowed inside? What is happening in this country?
Sorry for pouring out my angst but it is getting on to me today very badly…