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Statement on behalf of the students, alumni and faculty of law schools against clamping down of university spaces

This is a statement signed by over 450 lawyers, law teachers and law students expressing their solidarity with JNU and Kanhaiya Kumar

 

We, the undersigned, as current students, alumni and professors of law universities, stand in strong opposition to the recent events which have unfolded at JNU, especially those involving the arrest of the JNUSU President, among other disproportionate measures. We strongly disapprove of the free reign given to the police to question, detain and arrest any student or faculty member for voicing their opinions.

We believe that university spaces are forums to discuss, question and debate fundamental political issues from different perspectives. University campuses are, and should be, spaces where people can peacefully voice their opinions, raise questions and disagree with each other on issues which concern us all as a part of the polity. The only way to uphold the ethics and values of safe spaces on university campuses, is to counter through dialogue and debate, not state backed violence. What a university campus cannot be is a site for stifling dissent and opinions with the threat of violence and a state backed misuse of the Indian Penal Code especially that of provisions such as sedition which were earlier used against many of our freedom fighters, those we eulogize as defenders of our “national” identity.

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