Law teachers and researchers from across the world have strongly condemned the recent police brutality against students of different universities struggling the recent changes in Citizenship law. They have also criticized the CAA and the NRC ideas as majoritarian and one that subverts our Consttitutional vision. Their statement:
We, the undersigned teachers and researchers of law, strongly condemn the police brutality on the peaceful protest by the students at Jamia Milia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University and other universities.
On 15 December 2019 police entered the Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, and assaulted and detained the students. Students were dragged out of campus, and were paraded outside with hands raised. We believe that the action of the police is an attempt to suppress dissent and is an attack on the autonomy of the universities. The police action violates, inter alia, the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution of India and international law instruments to which India is a state party. We emphasize that academic institutions are an arena of discussion, debate and dissent, and the peremptory and ultimate objective of universities is to speak truth to power. By using force against the students, the government has struck at the heart of the culture of protests.
Ambedkar University Delhi Faculty Association condemns the police brutality on students of Panjab University earlier this month. Students were protesting against fee hikes which have been made primarily because one of the oldest universities in the country is under a financial crisis for the last one year. This has happened due to the distinctive status of the university, which is neither a Central university nor a full state university. The UGC since last year has stopped its grants to the University and as a result not being able to generate salaries for employees, the University hiked student fees in response. Lathi charge and tear gas shells were unleashed on the protesting students, students were arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including sedition charges. Although released, students are still under surveillance and victimized.
STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY FOR HYDERABAD CENTRAL UNIVERSITY STRUGGLE
We, the undersigned, who are UK-based concerned scholars, express our deep dismay over the police brutality directed at students and faculty members of Hyderabad Central University, starting on March 22, 2016. We are alarmed that students and staff calling for justice at the University have had charges pressed against them, have been disappeared from the campus, and that there are reports of assaults on them in custody. We condemn the police presence on campus, the authorities’ denial of water, electricity, and food to those remaining in student accommodation, and the brutal attack on a PhD scholar for cooking in University premises.
These actions, coming in the aftermath of events culminating in the suicide of a Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, constitute a severe assault on democratic rights of free expression and thought, assembly and association. They go against the very purpose of universities as places for critical thinking, and damage the international reputation of HCU. As scholars who admire the work of many academic colleagues and alumni at HCU, we are concerned that HCU seems to be fast descending into a campus of unrestrained repression of dissenting voices among students and staff. Continue reading Statement of Solidarity for Hyderabad Central University from UK-based academics→
(An edited version of this Fact-Finding Report appeared in February issue of Samayantar)
गुजरात और मध्यप्रदेश की सीमा से लगे हुए महाराष्ट्र के धुले जिले में 6 जनवरी को होटल में पैसे के लेन-देन के आपसी विवाद को लेकर शुरू हुआ झगड़ा जल्द ही हिन्दू एवं मुस्लिम समुदाय के बीच पत्थर बाजी में तब्दील हो गया। इस हिंसा की परिणति पुलिस की गोली से मारे गए छः मुस्लिम नौजवानों (1) इमरान अली कमर अली (25) (2) असीम शेख नासिर (21) (3) सउद अहमद रईस पटेल (18) (4) हाफिज मो. आसीफ अब्दुल हलीम (22) (5) रिजवान हसन शाह (24) (6) युनुस अब्बास शाह (20) के रूप में हुई। लगभग 55 मुस्लिम नौजवानों, जिनमें से लगभग 40कोगोली लगी, पुलिस की हिंसा के शिकार हुए। 58ऐसे लोग हैं जिनके घर,वाहन, दुकान, ठेलागाड़ी को क्षतिग्रस्त किया गया। धुले में हुई इस साम्प्रदायिक हिंसा की खासियत यह है कि न तो पुलिस और न ही कोई साम्प्रदायिक संगठन झूठ बोल सकता है, क्योंकि धुले में लगभग 3 बजे के आसपास जब विवाद ने पत्थरबाजी का रूप ले लिया तब उसके बाद के ज्यादातर फुटेज वीडियोक्लिपिंग अथवा फोटोग्राफ के रूप में मौजूद हैं। धुले में हुई इस हिंसा की हकीकत जानने के लिए वर्धा के हिंदी विश्वविद्यालय के अध्यापक, छात्र, सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता एवं पुणे के स्वतंत्र पत्रकार ने 19-20 जनवरी को धुले जिले का दौरा किया। Continue reading राज्य हिंसा का एक और नमूना – धुले→
[We are publishing below the following report based on materials received courtesy Sanhati, whose members were also arrested in the course of the struggle]
“If Didi could rush to the scene for one Tapashi Mallik, then she could surely hear the voices of 800 poor people and come here to see us” –Residents of Nonadanga slum in Kolkata
It is the same story once again. Cleaning up and beautification of cities in the clamour for urban space for consumption and the luxury of the rich. And as we have seen, it makes little difference whether the government/s are Leftist or Rightist, whether they claim to represent the oppressed poor or not. Thus, on 30th March, 2012 the TMC government forcefully evicted around 300 poor families from the Nonadanga slum area in South 24-Parganas, in the name of ‘development’ and ‘beautification’ of Kolkata. Their shanties were razed to ground by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. The homeless slum-dwellers have been staying in an open field and are facing constant police harassment. Despite these harsh conditions, they have refused to depart and are presently on hunger strike. Their demand has to date failed to draw any favourable attention from the government. This neglect comes on the heels of the Planning Commission agreeing to annual Bengal plan around 16 per cent more than last year’s.
How many murdered Dalits does it take to wake up a nation? Ten? A thousand? A hundred thousand? We’re still counting, as Anand Patwardhan shows in his path-breaking film Jai Bhim Comrade (2011). Not only are we counting, but we’re counting cynically, calculating, dissembling, worried that we may accidentally dole out more than ‘they’ deserve. So we calibrate our sympathy, our policies and our justice mechanisms just so. So that the upper caste killers of Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange’s family get life imprisonment for parading Priyanka Bhotmange naked before killing her, her brother and other members of the family in Khairlanji village in Maharashtra, but the court finds no evidence that this may be a crime of hatred – a ‘caste atrocity’ as it is termed in India. Patwardhan’s film documents the twisted tale of Khairlanji briefly before moving to a Maratha rally in Mumbai, where pumped-up youths, high on testosterone and the bloody miracle of their upper caste birth are dancing on the streets, brandishing cardboard swords and demanding job reservations (the film effectively demolishes the myth that caste consciousness and caste mobilisation are only practised by the so-called ‘lower castes’). Asked on camera about the Khairlanji murders, one Maratha manoos suspends his cheering to offer an explanation. That girl’s character was so loose, he says, that the entire village decided to teach her a lesson.
In Lingagiri, it didn’t take long to tally the results of the recently concluded panchayat elections. On January 31 this year, a sum total of four people voted in this remote village in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district. The polling booth opened on time, the polling officers were present, and then the force arrived.
Pujari Rajamma, 35, was combing her hair in her courtyard. “I was getting ready to walk down to the polling office, when the uniformed men stormed in,” she said. “They checked my fingers for the voting mark.” When they didn’t find it, they beat her with sticks. The bruises are still visible on Rajamma’s back; she can barely move her swollen left arm.