Statement Demanding Immediate Release of Writers, Activists and Human Rights Defenders: IIT Kanpur Alumni and Others

We, a group of alumni of IIT Kanpur and others as students, researchers, faculty, staff and other community members affiliated with the same institute strongly condemn the arrest of IIT Kanpur alumna Sudha Bharadwaj (Integrated MSc., Mathematics, 1979-1984) and other activists namely, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha and Varavara Rao, and the raiding of houses of Anand Teltumbde, K. Satyanarayana and Stan Swamy among many others. These arrests seem to be a mere sequel in an ongoing attempt to intimidate and arrest activists, eminent writers, professors, journalists, and human rights defenders around the country.

Sudha Bhardwaj has a public record of dedicating herself to the most marginalized through her work spanning more than thirty years. She finished her integrated bachelors and masters program of Dept of Mathematics, IIT Kanpur, in 1984. Already socially conscious as a student, by 1986 she had moved to Chhattisgarh working with a workers’ organization and trade union in the mining-industrial belt of central Chhattisgarh. It is here she found her calling as a trade unionist, and later, as a lawyer. We have compiled a short biography of her long journey at https://goo.gl/J6F9kK – it is clear that she dedicated herself entirely to the most vulnerable and powerless, working through the rights and frameworks guaranteed in the Indian constitution.

The invoking of UAPA against Sudha Bharadwaj which – given its unduly harsh provisions – would ensure long term incarceration and denial of bail, is a travesty of justice given her long record of legal and social work. The charges against her appear to be totally concocted: the contradictory nature of the public statements issued by the prosecution suggests as much, as does even a cursory glance at the prime evidence in the form of a letter allegedly written by her. It is also very curious that the dubious letters are entirely unaccompanied by any further evidence and were first leaked to selective media outlets, and the prosecution seems to be more prepared for a “media trial” than an actual one (see https://goo.gl/KtD55m, for example) for a summary of recent events in perspective).

With what appears to be a clear fabrication of facts, it looks like an attempt to malign her reputation and discredit her causes. The cases of other arrests seem to be similar.

In standing with the dispossessed and tirelessly bringing their issues within the ambit of the legal system, she has only strengthened the impulse of inclusive development that must be the bedrock of any modern democracy. It is no coincidence then, that a large number of public intellectuals, bureaucrats, academics, and members of the general public have come out in her support. To their voices we add ours, as members of an institution where this distinguished alumna spent her early years.

We, the undersigned, demand an immediate and unconditional release of Ms. Bhardwaj and all others who have been arrested. We also exhort an independent and impartial investigation by the National Human Rights Commission into the circumstances of their arrests.

 Signatories

Kuver Sinha (MS 2001), Carl T Bush Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Oklahoma

Vaibhav Vaish (B. Tech 2004), Inspire Faculty, ISI Bangalore

Vaibhav Kumar (M. Tech 2013)

Dr. V N Sharma (M. Tech 1978)

Giriraj Kishore, Ex-Registrar, IITK

Sunil Sahasrabudhey (Student 1981), Vidya Ashram, Varanasi

Amit Singh (B. Tech 2005), Adjunct Faculty, Dept of Mechanics, Virginia Tech

Ashok Gupta (B. Tech 1972), Emeritus Professor. Ohio University

Sushil Handa (B. Tech 1966)

Rajendra Sahai (B. Tech 1966) Member, Institute for Critical Study of Society, Oakland, California

Vivek Kr. Mehta (M.Tech 2005, PhD 2013), Assistant Professor, Tezpur University, Assam

Arun Karthik B. (MBA 2010)

Himanshu Srivastava (B. Tech 2004), PhD Student, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education

Deepankar Basu (B. Tech 1994), Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Vikas Dubey, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur, 2013-Present

S. Pradeep Kumar, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur

Dheeraj Singh (B. Tech 2004)

Manu Agrawal (MBA 2011)

Akshaya Kumar (B. Tech 2003)

Aravind Muthusamy (M. Des 2010)

Rahul Varman, Professor, IIT Kanpur

Suchitra Mathur, Faculty, IIT Kanpur

Abha Sur (PhD student from 1973-75), Faculty, Program in Science, Technology and Society, MIT, USA

Jaya Jha (B. Tech 2004)

Sandeep Pandey (Visiting Faculty, 1992-93 (3 Semesters)),  Social Activist, Visiting Professor, IIM Ahmedabad & NALSAR, Hyderabad

Preeti Sood (B. Tech 2003)

Atif Hussain (B. Tech)

George Kandathil (M. Tech)

Vijai Kumar (Alumnus)

Paul Mathew, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur, 2013-Present

V Giridhar (MBA 2004)

Binoy  (PhD 2012)

Rhythm Grover, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur, 2014-Present

Arvind (Alumnus), Professor, IISER Mohali

Sanil. V (PhD 1995), Faculty, IIT Delhi

Aman Gupta (B. Tech 2015)

Manu Kanchan, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur

Akshay Bajaj,  MSR Student, IIT Kanpur

Mohini Mullick, Retired professor, IIT Kanpur

Sakthivel T. (PhD 2017)

Bharat Bhushan, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur

Nirmali Goswami (PhD 2011), Faculty, Tezpur University, Assam

Harish Karnick (M. Tech 1977, PhD 1984), Emeritus Fellow, IIT Kanpur

Kumari Jahnavi (B. Tech 2006)

Ankit Nigam (MBA 2011)

Shaurya Aarav (B. Tech), Graduate Student, Princeton University

Gaurav Bajpai (B. Tech 2005)

Siddhartha Chaudhuri (B. Tech 2005), Assistant Professor, IIT Bombay

Neelesh Kumar (B. Tech 2015)

Irfan Qayoom, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur, 2015-Present

Shalini Kumar (B. Tech 2003)

Gaganjot, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur, 2015-Present

Mohd Usman, Doctoral Scholar, IIT Kanpur

Shikha Chauhan (B. Tech 2004)

Shobha Madan (1975-1980), Alumna, Retired Faculty, IIT Kanpur

Kaushika Draavid, Research Scholar, 2013-Present

NISHANT (B. Tech, M. Tech 2011), Doctoral Student, IIT Delhi

G.V. Ravindra (Integrated M.Sc 1995), U Missouri, St. Louis

Bhavna Bhalla (PhD 2010)

Anjani Kumar, Alumnus

Ayush Mukherjee, Alumnus 2018

Sambit (B. Tech 2013)

Ankur Dutt      (B. Tech 2002)

Amit Tripathi (B. Tech  2003), IIT Hyderabad

Vivek Kushwaha, Alumnus   

Divyanshu Patel          (Btech/ChE/2017)      

Surya Kant, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur            ,2015-Present

Ankit Tripathi (B. Tech 2015)

Gautam P S     (B. Tech 2016)           

Vipul Goyal, Alumnus, IIT K

Gopal Raghavan          (B. Tech 1982)

Vishv Malhotra (M Tech(EEE, 1976), PhD(1981)), Faculty (CSE)  Retired

Manish Mishra (B. Tech 2004), Assistant Professor, IISER Pune

J. Ranjith, Sr. Project Associate (Cognitive Science), IIT Kanpur

Manish Gautam (B. Tech), Engineer at Arcadis

Sumantran Ray,           Ph.D. Scholar, IIT KANPUR

Parth Vaswani (B. Tech 2016)

Amman Madan (Ex-faculty, IIT Kanpur), Azim Premji University, Bengaluru

Mini Chandran, Professor, IIT Kanpur

Srinivas Budaraju (B.Tech 1982), Chemical Engineer, USA

Siddharth Ramachandran        (B.Tech 1987-1991), Professor, Boston University

Sambuddha Sen          (M.Sc 2013), PhD Student, The Ohio State University

Saurabh Anand Prakash, Alumnus    

Rakesh, Alumnus       

Kapil Hari Paranjape   (MS 5yr Mathematics 1977-82), IISER Mohali

Archak Purkayastha (Alumnus), ICTS Visiting Fellow

Ketan Bagga (MBA, 2015) Amazon

Madhur khanna (M. Tech 2001)

Sudeshna Sinha           (Int MSc 1980-1985), IISER Mohali

Bhaswati (Ganguly) Laha (M.Sc. Integrated 1985)

Ramakrishna Majumder (MBA 2014), Infosys, Bangalore

Akshat Dinkar Tiwari (Alumnus),      working at Infosys

Sandeep Shukla,         Professor of Computer Science, IITK

Lokesh Jain     (Alumnus, 2010-2015)

Rahul Pandey (B. Tech), Entrepreneur and Visiting faculty with IIM Lucknow

Shashi Kuppa (B. Tech, 1985), U.S. DOT

Ragavendiran, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur

Ronnie Sebastian, IIT Bombay

Prateek            (B.Tech 2016), Student

Sibnath Mazumdar (Alumnus), Retired

A P Shukla, Retired Faculty, IIT Kanpur

Sandeep Agarwal, (B. Tech 1983)

Seema Narain, (Ph.D. 2010 & M Tech. 2002)

Sarvendra Yadav,      (PhD 2013), Faculty, Dr. Harisingh Gour University Sagar (M.P.)

Abhaya Agarwal,     (B.Tech. 2003)          

Sangharsh Aglave, (BT/CS/2015), Masters Student at Georgia Institute of Technology

Nitish Pant, B. Tech Student, IIT Kanpur, 2015-present

Shamim Akhter (MBA (IME) 2007) 

Srivani Narra (B.Tech 2005)

Anurag Sahay (BS-MS Dual, 2011-2016)

Dr C B Choudhary (M.Tech.  & Ph.D. Met Engg, 1966-75), National Treasurer, Samajwadi Jan parishad, A registered Political Party   

Utpal Lahiri     (B. Tech 1984), Faculty, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Praval Kumar Singh   (Student 1966-, Roll No 66160) Retired engineer Currently at Varanasi

Abhishek Ghosh, PhD Scholar, IIT Kanpur, 2013-Present

Abhinav Manchanda   (B. Tech, Aerospace, 2006), Entrepreneur     

Santosh Anand (B.Tech, 98331)

Yogish Holla (MSc Mathematics (int) , 1994), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai  

Arun Kumar (B. Tech., EE, 1975),  Chief Technical Officer, Engg, Inc.      

Santhosh Kumar T, M. Tech student at IIT Kanpur, Hall 11, 2017-Present

Ashutosh Gupta          (B. Tech 2004), Asscoiate Professor IIT Bombay     

Ajeeta Nyola , Alumna, Batch of 2005

Kanish Manuja (B. Tech – M. Tech 2014), Software Engineer Microsoft    

ABHIJIT MITRA (Alumnus 1971-1978), Professor, IIIT Hyderabad          

K. S. Gandhi, Faculty of IIT Kanpur (1971-86)

Sujata Kar (Alumni), IIT Roorkee

Prem Anand Murugan, PhD student. IIT Kanpur

Manoj kumar, Alumnus 2010-2014

Jishnu Biswas (MSc Integrated 1984-89), Indian Statistical Institute Bangalore Center     

Prathmesh Kant (Alumnus), co-founder and CEO Aggois

Sumati Surya (Msc, IIT Kanpur), Raman Research Institute

Sanjib Sabhapandit (Alumnus) RRI Bangalore         

Rajat Mittal, Faculty at IIT Kanpur

Dheerendra Tiwari (BT-MT dual degree Y6), VLSI Engineer

Sankalp Tiwari (Dual degree (2008-2013)), PhD (2014-ongoing), IIT Kanpur

Shahid Anwar, Batch of 75

Kalyan Banerjee, Retired Physics Faculty of IIT Kanpur

Drupad Ram (B. Tech 1975, M. Tech 1978), Social worker and human rights activist.

Archisman Ghosh (Msc-I/PHY/2001-2006), Nikhef – National Institute of Subatomic Physics


2 thoughts on “Statement Demanding Immediate Release of Writers, Activists and Human Rights Defenders: IIT Kanpur Alumni and Others

  1. Attempts at curbing democratic rights through illegal use of Police and investigating agencies and also using these agencies to threaten political opponents have become part of Fascist Politics in contemporary India. We must go to people and build public opinion against it. Threat to democracy is indeed real. Conscious citizens and particularly intellectuals will have to oppose it at the ground level. Yogendra Yadav’s harassment in Tamilnadu is also a part of this process.

  2. The continued harassment through prolonged house arrest of activists reveal that the establishment does not have an iota of proof against them and they simply want to buy time for fabricating charges through false evidence and fake letters and correspondence

We look forward to your comments. Comments are subject to moderation as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s