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India: Crackdown at JNU, Arrest of President of Students Union - Press Statement by Teachers and Former Students

12 February 2016

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Date: 12-02-2016

Press Statement on JNU

We the undersigned who have taught at the Jawaharlal Nehru University for long and have served as Deans of its various Schools at different times are shocked to hear that the President of the Students’ Union has been arrested on charges of sedition. As he belongs to the All India Students’ Federation, his views and political associations are well-known, and to accuse him of sedition is beyond the bounds of credibility. The only previous occasion when the President of the JNUSU had been arrested was during the Emergency of 1975-77, and the present situation on the campus brings back memories of the Emergency days. We urge the Union government to take immediate steps to prevent the intimidation of students and to ensure that the normal functioning of the University is not disrupted in any way.

  • K.N. Panikkar
  • C.P. Bhambri
  • Anil Bhatti
  • Utsa Patnaik
  • Prabhat Patnaik
  • Zoya Hasan
  • Anjan Mukherji
  • Mridula Mukherjee
  • Aditya Mukherjee

Date: 12-02-2016

Press Statement on JNU

We condemn in the strongest possible words the high-handed police action in JNU. This is reminiscent of the dark days of the emergency when the state had swooped down on the campus and had arrested many on false and trumped up charges. While we hold no brief for those who raised objectionable slogans, the arrested students have been charged with anti-national activities, precisely the charges on which we were also arrested during the draconian emergency.

We call upon the democratic forces and the entire community of students from institutes of higher learning from across the country to stand together and resist these continuing attacks on education and the spaces for debate and discussion. Coming in the wake of the dastardly conspiracy of connivance and blatant discrimination that forced Rohit Vemula to take his own life, the storming of the hostels and the arrest of the president of JNUSU are signs of the imposition of an undeclared emergency that need to be opposed, confronted and defeated.

We are confident that the democratic and secular forces in the country will stand united and will ensure that the communal fascist forces do not succeed in their designs.

  • D.P. Tripathi (Ex. President JNUSU arrested during the emergency)
  • Sohail Hashmi
  • Anil Chaudhary
  • Ramesh Dixit
  • Ish Mishra
  • N.D. Jayaprakash
  • Probir Purkayastha