Massive protests have flared up across the country to condemn the violence unleashed by the masked goons—allegedly belonging to Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)—against the students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on January 5. The protests are being called and organised by various groups including political parties, students, youth, workers and trade unionists, and common citizens.
“I am writing this letter to request your urgent intervention in the unfortunate incidents that happened in JNU yesterday on January 5,” Kareem said in the letter. The students and teachers allege that the JNU administration gave full support to these people and had also given a free hand to the outsiders to enter hostels and attack the students, he said in his letter.
Kareem criticised the Delhi Police over allegations by students and teachers that it did not take any action against the attackers.
The Executive Committee of the Supreme Court Bar Association today resolved to strongly condemn the violence against JNU students by anti-social elements. It further resolved to condemn the inaction on the part of Delhi Police, and called upon the authorities to act and ensure that the Rule of Law prevailed.
Read more: JNU Violence: No Arrest Yet, But Police Files FIR Against Injured Aishe Ghosh, 19 Others.
“Instead of controlling the violence and taking action against people who attacked the students and teachers, the Delhi Police turned against the innocent students inside the campus to save the perpetrators of the crime,” he added.
Protesters Shifted from Gateway of India to Azad Maidan
People protesting against the JNU attack were evicted from Gateway of India in Mumbai on Tuesday morning as roads were getting blocked and tourists and common people were facing problems, a police official said. Police had appealed to the protesters to shift, but they didn’t listen, so they were “relocated” to Azad Maidan, the official said.
Hundreds of people, including students, women and senior citizens who had assembled at the iconic Gateway of India since Sunday midnight demanded action against the culprits and called for Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation.
JNU Professor Withdraws from Panel Citing Situation in University
Eminent economist and JNU professor C P Chandrasekhar on Monday said he had withdrawn from the newly-constituted 28-member Standing Committee on Statistics (SCES), chaired by former chief statistician Pranob Sen, citing the situation in the university.
The committee was constituted last month to improve the quality of data amid criticism of the government over political interferences and is scheduled to meet on Tuesday.
“I regret to inform you that because of the situation in JNU, where I stay, I will be unable to attend tomorrow’s meeting. […] Further, I feel that under the current conditions, this committee is unlikely to be able to restore the credibility of the statistical system, which has been undermined in the recent past,” Chandrasekhar wrote in an email to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) and the members of the committee.
Chandrasekhar, however, added that he wished to record his appreciation for the sustained efforts of a large number of colleagues within the statistical system, whom he had greatly valued working with in the past, to build a robust and credible statistical base.
“It is unfortunate that political pressures have reduced their autonomy now and efforts to consolidate a well-designed system are being subverted. In these circumstances, I will not be able to serve on this committee,” he wrote in the email.
Read More: One Country, One Voice Against Violence in JNU
Last year in March, expressing concerns over “political interference” in influencing statistical data in India, as many as 108 economists and social scientists had called for restoration of “institutional independence” and integrity to statistical organisations.
Their statement had come in the backdrop of a controversy over a revision of the gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and withholding of employment data by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO).
In November also, the MOSPI had decided not to release the Consumer Expenditure Survey results of 2017-18, citing data quality issues.
TISS Teachers’ Association Demands impartial and independent inquiry
Condemning the violent attack on JNU students and teachers, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Teachers’ Association (TISSTA) on Monday demanded an impartial and independent inquiry into these incidents. In a statement, TISSTA said: “An inquiry should be undertaken into the inaction of the security personnel and administration during the incidents.”
The association also demanded appropriate actions against the wrong-doers along with “university administration should ensure the safety of the students, teachers and staff in the university campuses and prompt and quality medical treatment should be provided to the injured”.
Students, workers' unions in TN hold protests against JNU violence
Students and workers’ unions on Monday held protests in parts of Tamil Nadu against the violence at JNU. Holding placards, a section of students of University of Madras staged a demonstration near the varsity entrance. They also raised slogans against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The state secretary of SFI, Mariappan, while speaking to NewsClick, said, "This is a planned attack by the right-wing forces on the student community since they are continuously protesting against the unconstitutional CAA. The state had unleashed a violent attack on the students of Jamia Milia Islamia University and now, the student wing of the ruling party has taken over the attack."
The SFI Tiruppur district committee submitted a petition to the district collector demanding a ban on ABVP.
A candlelight vigil was held by a number of civil society organisations in Valluvar Kottam in Chennai on Monday evening. The protest attracted members from diverse backgrounds. The participants chanted slogans against fascism and invited fellow citizens in order to protect the Constitution of India. Many held placards that read “Pens are not Lathis” and “We Stand with JNU”.
They lighted candles in solidarity with the students and professors who were brutally attacked by a masked mob. Students of various institutions, advocates, members of civil society organisations participated in huge numbers. Former Manonmaniam Sundaranar University vice chancellor Vasanthi Devi, advocate of Madras High Court Sudha Ramalingam, Tamim Ansari, members of Tamil Nadu Assembly and several others took part.
DMK MP Kanimozhi met the students and offered her party’s support to the protest. “Attack on students is something like an attack on democracy. This should not continue,” she told reporters.
Police personnel were deployed in large numbers at the venue to prevent any untoward incident. Students of a government college in Thanjavur also staged a protest and demanded a ban on right-wing students’ union ABVP and its parent organisation RSS.
Read more: JNU Attack Once Again Betokens Police State
Protest at Pune university against JNU violence
Members of various students and youth organisations staged a demonstration at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on Monday evening to denounce the violence at the JNU campus in New Delhi.
Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Vishwajeet Kadam also took part in the protest.
Holding placards and shouting slogans, the agitators took part in the protests and condemned the attack on the JNU students and teachers.
The protest lasted for more than three hours on the varsity campus and saw participation of students, members from various organisations, citizens and some of the JNU alumni.
Agitating students also recited Faiz Ahmed Faiz's poem Hum Dekhenge (We shall see), which was recently at the centre of a row at the IIT Kanpur.
(With inputs from PTI and Neelambaran A)