Statements condemning police attack on students’ protest at Jadavpur University – AIFRTE, KNS, APDR

September 19, 2014

Statement from AIFRTE

All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) strongly condemns the inhuman assault on protesting students of Jadavpur University on the night of 16-17 September 2014 by Kolkata police in collusion with the Vice-Chancellor. He called police to break up the peaceful protest by students and did nothing to prevent the brutal assault despite knowing that the protestors included women students who were attacked and molested by the police and goons. Reports that the police was accompanied by plainclothes policemen and goons belonging to ruling Trinamool Congress are a matter of serious concern.

The attack comes in backdrop of seven-day long peaceful sit-in-dharna by university students who were demanding the university administration to take action against anti-social elements who had molested a woman-student on 28th August in the university premises. Students wanted an independent panel of inquiry for the incident and action to be taken against members of the University’s Internal Complaints Committee who harassed the victim and violated the clear Supreme Court guidelines laid down in the Vishakha judgement. It is shocking that the legitimate demands of the students were not considered and appropriate steps to ensure safety of women students on the campus were not taken. It is also disturbing that the police showed no interest in moving against those who had perpetrated a serious crime despite the fact that one of the perpetrators has been identified.

AIFRTE takes serious note of this attack on campus democracy. Such attacks are becoming increasingly common in West Bengal and in other states where the respective state governments have not taken action against guilty police officers or anti-social elements often connected with the ruling party or its affiliates.

AIFRTE stands in full solidarity with the brave students of Jadavpur University and demands that,

  1. Immediate action should be taken against police officials responsible for the attack on peaceful protestors on the night of 16-17 September 2014;
  2.  Action should be taken against the university administrators including the Vice-Chancellor for colluding in the brutal police assault on the students, failing to protect the university’s student community especially woman students and failing to ensure compliance with the Vishakha judgment guidelines;
  3. Action should be taken against police officials for not acting with due diligence in the molestation case filed by the woman student of Jadavpur University;
  4. Immediate action should be taken against those guilty of molesting the woman student on 28th August in the university premises; and
  5. An independent panel should be immediately constituted to inquire into all aspects of this gruesome episode and recommend appropriate action against all police officials and officials of Jadavpur University who are responsible for any acts of omission or commission.

AIFRTE Presidium
Dr. Meher Engineer
Prof. Wasi Ahmed
Sri Prabhakar Arade
Prof. G. Haragopal
Prof. Madhu Prasad
Prof. Anil Sadgopal
Prof. K. M. Shrimali
Dr. Anand Teltumbde

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Statement from Krantikari Naujawan Sabha

We strongly condemn the brutal unprovoked terror unleashed by Police-TMC goons on students on the midnight of 16 September 2014 in JU. Students protesting in front of the VC office and demanding action against those involved in sexual harassment and molestation case on campus have been violently beaten up, molested and arrested by West Bengal Police, Rapid Action Force and Trinamool Congress goondas.

The Vice Chancellor who called these goons and police on campus has been dilly-dallying the investigation into the sexual harassment case, and earlier shooed away the father of the victim using bureaucratese “come after some days”. The committee instituted by the admin to look into the case rubbed salt on the wounds of the victim by asking insensitive questions like “what clothes were you wearing that evening?”

Is this what those protesting against sexual harassment get? More sexual harassment and humiliation and violence. This is the message of those in power at the University and their masters at the State. State Education Minister Partho Chatterjee has called the action of protesting students “undemocratic”- we understand that his definition of ‘democracy’ is where police and his party’s goondas establish their terror over legitimate voices of protest against injustice.

We shall not take these atrocities lying down. We stand in solidarity with the students of Jadavpur University who are waging a determined struggle against sexual harassment and state terror- an important linkage which sustains patriarchy in society. We appeal to all concerned to raise their voices against this injustice.

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Statement from APDR

APDR strongly condemns the police atrocities on a peaceful students’ demonstration in Jadavpur University at about 2-30 AM in the night intervening 16-17 September. Agitating students were brutally beaten up, girls were misbehaved and were dragged by their hair to dump in police vehicles. Thirty five of them were taken to the local PS and later to Lalbazar Central lock-up. Agitating students complained that local TMC men also accompanied the police and took part in the assault, which is a replay of sort of the infamous 14 March, 2007 Nandigram incident, though in a smaller scale.

APDR also deplores that the University Authorities instead of sorting out the problem arising out of the students’ demands in connection with a molestation complaint , preferred to call the police inside the educational institution to take on the dissenting students.

APDR demands that the midnight assault on the students be probed and such attack on dissenting voices must be stopped.

Amitadyuti Kumar
WORKING PRESIDENT, APDR