Statement Condemning Attack on Academics
May 24, 2016
We strongly condemn the Chhattisgarh government and its police force for using intimidation and threats of a criminal case against academics and political activists investigating human rights abuses in the southern parts of the state, especially Bastar and Dantewada. A fact finding team consisting of Prof. Archana Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Prof. Nandini Sundar, Delhi University (DU) and Vineet Tiwari, researcher at CPI’s Joshi-Adhikari Institute, recently visited the area for 5 days between 12-16 May 2016. They were accompanied by Sanjay Parate, Chhattisgarh State Secretary CPI-M.
After the visit the team was accused of spreading dissent against security agencies and supporting the ‘Maoists’. The statement by state Home Minister Ram Sewak Paikra in the Times of India reportedly calling the three reputed Delhi-based academicians ‘anti-nationals’ and ‘Maoists’ is part of a recent and explicit trend to stifle the freedom of expression and movement through a state crackdown on political dissent. The threat of an FIR and further harassment looms large. The local contacts, escorts and villagers who hosted the team are being harassed and intimidated by the police in order to fabricate evidence and ensure that they help no other study team in the future.
The press release by the team clearly indicts both the Chhattisgarh state and Maoist violence and reveals how ordinary Adivasis, struggling for a dignified existence and protesting against the violation of basic rights have little space to voice genuine grievances.
This is the latest in a long line of actions to criminalize dissent, free expression and movement, and stifle fair reportage of events which have become hallmarks of the Chhattisgarh government.
We appeal to all democrats to condemn this brazen attempt at intimidation by the state and its security agencies.Bishnupriya Dutt, (JNU)Ranjani Mazumdar, (JNU)Surinder Jodhka, JNU)Neeladri Bhattacharyya, (JNU)Jaivir Singh, (JNU)Vivek Kumar, (JNU)Sachidanand Sinha, (JNU)Ravi Srivastava,( JNU)Atul Sood, (JNU)R. Mahalakshmi, (JNU)Tiplut Nongbri (JNU)Utsa Patnaik, (JNU)Surajit Mazumdar, (JNU).Jayati Ghosh, (JNU)Ritoo M. Jerath, (JNU)Dr Rajarshi Dasgupta, (JNU)Mohinder Singh, (JNU)Vikas Rawal, (JNU)Udaya Kumar, (JNU)Chaman Lal, (JNU)Dr. Mallarika Sinha Roy, (JNU)G. Arunima, (JNU)Ayesha Kidwai, (JNU)Prabhat Patnaik, (JNU)C P Bhambri, (JNU)Lata Singh, (JNU)Dr. C. Sadasiva,(DU)Rajni Palriwala, (DU)B.P. Sahu, (DU)V. M. Jha, (DU)Amar Farooqui, (DU)Madhu Prasad, (ex DU)Nina Rao, (ex DU)Biswamoy Pati, (DU)Madangopal Singh, (DU)Sukumar Muralidharan, JournalistRam Puniyani, Author, ActivistFarah Naqvi, Writer and ActivistTeesta Setalvad, Editor, ActivistHarsh Mander, Author, ActivistPrabir Purkayastha, ActivistKatyayani, writer and ActivistSatyam, Journalist and ActivistRoopsingh Chouhan, CPI (MP)Sarika Shrivastava, NFIW (MP)Rajan Kshirsagar, BKMU (Maharashtra)Harsh Kapoor, www.sacw.netGitha Hariharan, Author, ActivistShabnam Hashmi, ActivistM. K. Raina, TheatreRam Rahman, PhotographerSohail Hashmi, HistorianS. Irfan Habib, HistorianP K Shukla, HistorianArjun Dev, HistorianSantosh Khare,Babulal Dahiya,Devisharan GraminK S ParthasarathyJyothi AnanthasubbaraoSatyananda MukundDr. Siddana Gowda PatilMurali KrishnaSurendraAshok BhowmickDr B K KangoSukumar DamleRajen BawadekarCharul JoshiManasi PingleVeena HariharanRajat DattaBrahma PrakashKalyani Menon SenKrishna JhaAbhishek SrivastavaS.P.ShuklaSandeep kumarSubhash Gatade, WriterNeelima Sharma, ActivistShamsul Islam, Activist
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