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Over 300 academicians, activists, artists and writers condemn the state violence and unlawful detention of faculty and student protesters of the University of Hyderabad

Over 300 academicians, activists, artists and writers condemn the state violence and unlawful detention of faculty and student protesters of the University of Hyderabad

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Justice for HCU

We, academicians, activists, artists and writers, condemn the ongoing brutal attacks on and unlawful detention of peacefully protesting faculty and students at the University of Hyderabad by the University administration and the police. We also condemn the restriction of access to basic necessities such as water and food on campus.

The students and faculty members of the University of Hyderabad were protesting the reinstatement of Dr. Appa Rao Podile as the Vice-Chancellor despite the ongoing judicial enquiry against him related to the circumstances leading to the death of the dalit student Rohith Vemula on January 17th, 2016. Students and faculty members of the university community are concerned that this may provide him the opportunity to tamper with evidence and to influence witnesses. Suicides by dalit students have been recurring in the University of Hyderabad and other campuses across the country. The issue spiraled into a nationwide students’ protest with the death of the dalit scholar Rohith Vemula. The protests have pushed into the foreground public discussion and debate on the persistence of caste-based discrimination in educational institutions, and surveillance and suppression of dissent and intellectual debate in university spaces.

Since the morning of March 22 when Dr. Appa Rao returned to campus, the students and staff have been in a siege-like situation. The peacefully protesting staff and students were brutally lathi-charged by the police, and 27 people were taken into custody. The 27 detainees were untraceable for 48 hours, brutally tortured, and denied legal access. In short, all legal procedures of detention have been suspended. After the incident, the university has been locked down with no access to food, water, electricity, and Internet connectivity. Students were brutally assaulted when they opened community kitchens. Lawyers and members of human rights organization as well the ordinary citizens of the city were denied access to students. University of Hyderabad is one of India’s biggest public universities.

We have followed, with deep concern, similar violent attacks and undemocratic crackdown on students on the campuses of Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Film and Television Institute of India, the University of Allahabad, Jadavpur University, Burdwan University, and others across the country. That the highest administrative authorities in the university have allowed the silencing of debate and dissent is unfortunate. We are disturbed by the pattern of growing nexus between student vigilante groups, youth wing of the ruling party, state and university authorities in colleges and university campuses across the country in order to mobilize the state machinery against vulnerable students. This has created a climate of fear and oppression in the country, and continually violates fundamental human and Constitutional rights of students.

We stand in support of the protesting students, staff and faculty of the University of Hyderabad and demand the following:

1. Immediate withdrawal of police from the campus.
2. Immediate release of, and withdrawal of all cases against, all arrested students and faculty.
3. Suspension of the Vice-Chancellor P. Appa Rao.
4. Judicial enquiry into the role of the HRD Ministry, the HRD Minister and Mr. Bandaru Dattatreya in inciting violence against Dalits on campus.
5. Independent enquiry into the incidents of violence on the campus including the role of the ABVP in vandalising the Vice-Chancellor’s office.
6. Action against police personnel named by students in their complaints.
7. Passage of the “Rohith Act” against caste discrimination in education.

1. Lawrence Cohen, Director, Institute for South Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley
2. Navtej K Purewal Deputy Director, South Asia Institute SOAS University of London
3. Akhil Gupta, Director, Center for India and South Asia (CISA), UCLA
4. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus), MIT
5. Michael Davis, Professor Emeritus, Department of Creative Writing, University of California Riverside
6. Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director, The Oakland Institute
7. Barbara Harriss-White, Oxford University
8. Kavita Krishnan, Secretary AIPWA
9. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University
10. G. Arunima, Professor and Chair, Centre for Women’s Studies, School of Social Sciences, JNU
11. Sandeep Pandey, former Visiting Faculty, IIT, BHU, Varanasi
12. Michael D. Yates, Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh, United States
13. Abha Sur, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
14. Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University
15. Haroon Akram-Lodhi, Chair, Department of International Development Studies, Trent University, Canada
16. Apoorvanand, University of Delhi
17. Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Professor of Political Science and Chair of Women’s Studies Department, Simon Fraser University, Canada
18. Gerald Epstein, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
19. Surinder S. Jodhka, Jawaharlal Nehru University
20. Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University
21. Sangeeta Kamat, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
22. Dr. Shailaja Paik, University of Cincinnati
23. Kevin B. Anderson, Professor of Sociology, University of California Santa Barbara
24. Tithi Bhattacharya, Professor of History, Purdue University
25. Pranav Jani, The Ohio State University
26. Vinay Gidwani, University of Minnesota
27. Nivedita Menon, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
28. Alpa Shah, London School of Economics
29. Jayati Ghosh, Jawaharlal Nehru University
30. Srirupa Roy, University of Göttingen, Germany
31. Rahul Varman, IIT Kanpur
32. Ashwini Tambe, University of Maryland, College Park
33. Jens Lerche, SOAS, University of London
34. Gillian Hart, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
35. Adrian Wilson, Social Anthropology, London School of Economics
36. Ayesha Kidwai, Professor ,Jawaharlal Nehru University
37. Meher Engineer
38. Aishwary Kumar, School of Humanities & Sciences, Stanford University
39. Ajantha Subramanian, Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies, Harvard University
40. Jyoti Puri, Chair and Professor of Sociology, Simmons College
41. Abdul JanMohamed, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
42. Dr. Nathaniel Roberts, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Goettingen, Germany
43. Paula Chakravartty, New York University
44. Atul Sood, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
45. Prof. Mohan Rao, Jawaharlal Nehru University
46. Yasmin Saikia, Professor of History, Arizona State University
47. Nandini Chandra, Delhi University
48. Elisabeth Weber, Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara
49. C. P. Chandrasekhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University
50. Prof. Rupa Viswanath, University of Goettingen, Germany
51. Rama Baru, Jawaharlal Nehru University
52. Svati Shah, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
53. Immanuel Ness, Professor, City University of New York
54. Balmurli Natrajan, William Paterson University
55. Veena Hariharan, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University
56. Rajat Datta, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
57. Geraldine Forbes, Professor, State University of New York, Oswego
58. Joya Misra, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
59. Richard Seymour, London School of Economics
60. Susan Visvanathan, Professor of Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University
61. Dr. Pérez de Mendiola, Richard Armour Professor of Modern Languages, Chair, Dept. of Latin American, Caribbean and Spanish Literatures and Cultures & Humanities, Scripps College
62. Peter Spiegler, Asst. Prof., Dept. of Economics, UMass, Amherst
63. Swati Birla, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
64. Atreyi Dasgupta, Baylor College of Medicine
65. Kuver Sinha, Syracuse University
66. Sirisha Naidu, Wright State University
67. Siddhartha Mitra, Programmer, Rockefeller University
68. Samantha Agarwal, PhD Candidate, Johns Hopkins University
69. Anup Gampa, PhD Candidate, University of Virginia
70. Anu Mandavilli, Friends of South Asia
71. Deepankar Basu, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
72. Nandini Dhar, Assistant Professor, Florida International University
73. Michael Levien, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University
74. Devika Dutt, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
75. Smita Ramnarain, Assistant Professor of Economics, Siena College
76. Taki Manolakos, Wright State University
77. Valentina Dallona, Johns Hopkins University
78. Iveta Jusova, Carleton College, USA
79. Aditi Chandra, University of California, Merced
80. Hee-Young Shin, Wright State University
81. Anjali Arondekar, UC Santa Cruz
82. Jinee Lokaneeta, Drew University
83. Ajay Chandra, University of Warwick
84. Xiao Yu, Peking University
85. Bettina Apthekar, UC Santa Cruz
86. Anirban Karak, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
87. Natasha S K, Syracuse University
88. Mitul Barua, Syracuse University
89. Simmy Makhijani, San Francisco State University
90. Sofia Gavtadze, Solidarity Network, Georgi
91. Avishek Konar, Alumnus, The Ohio State University
92. Robert Carley, Wright State University
93. Dia Da Costa, Associate Professor, University of Alberta
94. Ann Smock, University of California, Berkeley
95. Liz Mount, Syracuse University
96. Terese V Gagnon, Syracuse University
97. Giorgi Kobakhidze, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia
98. Levin Ahmed, Jawaharlal Nehru University
99. Christos Mais, Universiteit Leiden
100. Taveeshi Singh, Syracuse University
101. Aniruddha Das, Columbia University
102. Safar Safqat, St Mary’s College of Maryland
103. Ramaa Vasudevan, Colorado State University
104. Osman Keshawarz, doctoral student, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
105. Narendra Subramaniam, McGill University
106. Ammel Sharon, University of Pennsylvania
107. Gventa Gventsadze
108. Borisi Cirekidze
109. Minakshi Menon, Max Planck Institute, Berlin
110. Dmitri Khuskivadze
111. Salo Kaladze
112. Judith Rodenbeck, UC Riverside
113. Ashok Prasad, Colorado State University
114. Priyanka Srivastava, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
115. Arani Roy, Brandeis University
116. Dag Erik Berg, University of Gottingen, Germany
117. Rahul Nair, Antioch College, USA
118. Gajendran Ayyathurai, Goettingen University, Germany
119. Balaji Narasimhan, William Paterson University, United States
120. Ember Skye Kanelee, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
121. Jungyeon Suh, Independent Researcher, United States
122. Kannan Srinivasan
123. Roli Verma, University of New Mexico
124. Piya Chatterjee, Scripps College, US
125. Lalit Batra, University of Minnesota
126. Avanti Mukherjee, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
127. Tyler Hansen, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
128. Subho Basu, McGill University, Canada
129. Laurie Nisonoff, Hampshire College, United States
130. Satya Mohapatra, MIT
131. Julia Corwin, University of Minnesota
132. Parama Roy, UC Davis
133. Krishna Melnattur, Washington University School of Medicine
134. Rupal Oza, Hunter College, City University of New York
135. Noeleen McIlvenna, Wright State University
136. Daniel Thompson, Johns Hopkins University
137. Jesse Knutson, University of Hawaii, Manoa
138. Prashant Keshavmurthy, McGill University, Canada
139. Anasuya Sengupta, Berkeley, USA
140. Uditi Sen, Hampshire College
141. Zarrina Juraqulova, Denison University, USA
142. Kiran Asher, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
143. Prakash Kashwan, University of Connecticut, Storrs
144. Hamid Rezai, Pitzer College, USA
145. Anindya Dey, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
146. Lara Deeb, Scripps College, USA
147. Richa Nagar, University of Minnesota
148. Vatsal Naresh, Columbia University
149. Niharika Yadav, Princeton University
150. Bedatri Datta Choudhury, NYU
151. Sanjiv Gupta, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
152. Suvadip Sinha, University of Minnesota
153. Ipsita Mandal, Perimeter Institute, Canada
154. Poulomi Pal, Fulbright scholar
155. Asmita Rangari, Activist, New Delhi
156. Shipra Nigam, Activist, New Delhi
157. Srinivas Lankala, Independent media scholar, Hyderabad
158. Carolyn Elliott, University of Vermont
159. Aviroop Sengupta, Columbia University
160. Madhura Lohokare, Syracuse University
161. Arijit Sen, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
162. Suyapa Portillo Villeda, Pitzer College, USA
163. Oishik Sircar, University of Melbourne
164. Arjun Bagchi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
165. Greg Anderson, Ohio State University
166. Prarit Agarwal, Seoul National University, Korea
167. Sayori Ghoshal, Columbia University
168. Uponita Mukherjee, Columbia University
169. Suyapa Portillo Villeda, Pitzer College
170. Patricia Morton, University of California, Riverside
171. Sofia Checa, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
172. Arpan Roy, John Hopkins University
173. Cynthia Correa, The University of Texas at Austin
174. Parvathy Binoy, Syracuse University, Syracuse
175. Jonathon Hurd, RN, Seattle
176. Varuni Bhatia, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
177. Erin McElroy, UCSC, Director, Anti-Eviction Mapping Project
178. Geert Dhondt, John Jay College, The City University of New York
179. Mithun Bhowmick, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
180. Alladi Sitaram, Retired Professor, Indian Statistical Institute
181. Dr Kasturi Ray, San Francisco State University
182. Alicia Giron, National University of Mexico
183. Probal Dasgupta, Indian Statistical Institute
184. Larry Halpern, Wittenberg University
185. Suchitra Mathur, Faculty, IIT Kanpur, India
186. Aditi Saraf, Johns Hopkins University
187. Ketaki Jaywant, University of Minnesota
188. Nagesh Rao, Colgate University
189. Irfan Ahmad, ACU Melbourne, Australia
190. Suvrat Raju, TIFR
191. Saikat Ghosh, IIT Kanpur
192. Samyak Ghosh, Columbia University
193. Catherine Liu, UC Irvine
194. Francis Cody, University of Toronto
195. Bhavani Raman, University of Toronto
196. Erika Suderburg, University of California Riverside
197. Saptarshi Mandal, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat
198. Anannya Bohidar, Graduate Student, South Asia Studies, UPenn
199. Rahul Pandey, visiting faculty, IIM Lucknow
200. Tania Bhattacharyya, Columbia University
201. Aditi Sarkar, Architect, Las Cruces, New Mexico
202. Shakti Sathish Nambiar, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
203. Maroona Murmu, Assistant Professor, Jadavpur University
204. Gayatri Chatterjee, Symbiosis School of Liberal Art
205. Sipra Mukherjee, Professor, West Bengal State University
206. Raja Swamy, Asst. Prof., Dept. of Anthropology, University of Tennessee
207. Anandavardhanan, Department of Mathematics, IIT Bombay
208. Priyanka Bhattacharya, The Doon School, Dehradun
209. Anuradha Roy, Jadavpur University
210. Ramesh Sreekantan, Statistics and Mathematics Unit Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore.
211. Srinath Jagannathan, Indian Institute of Management Indore
212. Tanima Sharma, PhD student, University of Chicago
213. Meena Alexander, City University of New York
214. Sharmila Sreekumar, IIT Bombay
215. Venkatesh K Subramanian, IIT Kanpur
216. Food Sovereignty Alliance, India
217. The Ghadar Alliance, US
218. Nandita Narain, St.Stephen’s College, Delhi University
219. Deepa Kurup, University of Oxford
220. Ramesh Bairy, IIT Bombay
221. Papori Bora, Jawaharlal Nehru University
222. Ritwik Balo
223. Ranjani Mazumdar, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University
224. PK Vijayan
225. Dr. Papia Sengupta, CPS/SSS
226. Krishna V V, CSSP/SSS
227. A.K. Ramakrishnan, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
228. Arunima S Mukherjee
229. George Chkhaidze
230. Elizabeth Abel
231. Dr. Kochurani Abraham, Kerala
232. Saumyajit Bhattacharya
233. Pradip Datta, Jawaharlal Nehru University
234. Rohit Azad, Center for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University
235. Deepak K Mishra, Jawaharlal Nehru University
236. Tulay Atay–Avsar, Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey
237. Dr. Vikas Bajpai, Jawaharlal Nehru University
238. Saradindu Bhaduri, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi and ISS, The Hague
239. Dr Erica Wald, Goldsmiths, University of London
240. Navaneetha Mokkil
241. Manidipa Sen, Jawaharlal Nehru University
242. Ameet Parameswaran, Jawaharlal Nehru University
243. K. B. Usha, Jawaharlal Nehru University
244. Gopinath Ravindran
245. Avinash Kumar, CISLS, SSS, Jawaharlal Nehru University
246. Puja Rani, University of Delhi
247. Ritoo Jerath, Jawaharlal Nehru University
248. Hannah Carlan, Department of Anthropology, UCLA
249. Ganga Bhavani Manthini
250. Sucharita Sen, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
251. Dr. Mallarika Sinha Roy, Centre for Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
252. Archana Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru University
253. Dinesh Abrol, Institute for Studies in Industrial Development.
254. Vikas Rawal, Professor, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University
255. FSanjaya Kumar Bohidar, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University
256. Simona Sawhney, IIT Delhi
257. Dr. Debjani Sengupta, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi
258. Anirban Gupta-Nigam, University of California, Irvine
259. Nandita Badami, University of California, Irvine
260. Sneha Gaddam, PhD Candidate, University of Leicester
261. Prabhu Mohapatra Department of History Univ of Delhi
262. Farida Khan, Univ. of Wisconsin Parkside
263. Pankaj Mehta, Dept. of Physics, Boston University
264. Tista Bagchi, University of Delhi
265. Ra Ravishankar, Bangalore
266. Sambuddha Chaudhuri, University of Pennsylvania
267. Ani Maitra, Colgate University
268. Ethel Brooks, Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology, Rutgers University
269. Abha Dev Habib, Miranda House, University of Delhi
270. Surajit Mazumdar, Center for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University
271. Sonajharia Minz, Professor, School of Computer & Systems Sciences, JNU
272. Vinay Kumar Ambedkar
273. Naveen Gaur, Associate Professor, Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi
274. Margot Weiss, Wesleyan University
275. Vivekananda Mukherjee, Professor, Dept. of Economics, Jadavpur University
276. Dr Shakira Hussein, National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne
277. Udaya Kumar, Professor, CES, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, JNU
278. Kriti Budhiraja, Graduate Student, University of Minnesota
279. Radhika Balakrishnan, Rutgers University
280. Seema Saha Poddar
281. Poulomi Saha, Assistant Professor of English, UC Berkeley
282. Swapnil Deshmukh, Mumbai University
283. Dr. Lata Singh, Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
284. Tyler Feaver, Wright State University
285. Pavithra Vasudevan, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
286. Santosh Rohit Yerrabolu, Buffalo, NY
287. Professor V V Krishna, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, SSS, JNU
288. Amy E. Alterman, Graduate Student, University of California Los Angeles
289. Ian Duncan, Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley
290. Bir singh, Asstt. Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Delhi
291. Amit Singh, Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University
292. Poonam Srivastava, University of Chicago, Postdoc Researcher
293. Omnia El Shakry, University of California, Davis
294. Jhuma Sen, O.P. Jindal Global University, India
295. Corey Payne and Chase Alston, Co-Presidents of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Johns Hopkins University
296. Sankaran Krishna, Professor, Dept. of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa
297. Mytheli Sreenivas, Professor, Ohio State University
298. Preeti Shekar, Asian College of Journalism
299. Susan Himmelweit, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, Open University, Walton Hall, UK
300. Kalyani Monteiro Jayasankar, Graduate Student, Princeton University
301. Nicolau Dols, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain
302. Kartik Misra, Graduate Student, Dept. of Economics, UMass, Amherst
303. Dolly Daftary, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
304. Sugata Ray, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science
305. Kunal Chattopadhyay, Professor of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University
306. Soma Marik, Associate Professor of History, RKSM Vivekananda Vidyabhavan
307. Pratiksha Baxi, Assoc. Prof., Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Johns Hopkins University
308. Arun Karthik B., Graduate Student, IIT-Kanpur
309. Manisha Sethi, Jamia Millia Islamia
310. Debaditya Bhattacharya, Asst. Prof., Nivedita College, University of Calcutta
311. Ahmed Sohaib, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
312. Michael Ash, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, UMass, Amherst
313. Ramya M. Vijaya Assoc. Professor of Economics, Stockton University, New Jersey
314. Sheila Walker, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Scripps College and Chair, Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies, The Claremont Colleges
315. Debarshi Das, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India
316. Tarun Bhargava, Mtech Computer Science, IIT Kanpur
317. Rajita Menon, PhD candidate, Boston University
318. Kasturi Basu, People’s Film Collective, Kolkata
319. Daniel Pasciuti, Assistant Research Scientist, Johns Hopkins University
320. Henry Reichman, First Vice-President, American Association of University Professors
321. Aaron Barlow, Associate Professor of English New York City College of Technology (CUNY)
322. Rahul Thube, Ferguson College
323. Nimisha Patel, Wright State University
324. Mehrene Larudee, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
325. Jayadev Athreya, Director, Washington Experimental Mathematics Lab, University of Washington
326. Sunitha Gorty, alumni of HCU, MCA 93-96
327. Devika Narayan, University of Minnesota
328. Aravind Muthusamy, IIT Kanpur
329. Ajmal Khan, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
330. Shruti Mukherjee, SUNY, New York
331. Marty Kich, Wright State University
332. Geetha Nambissan, Jawaharlal Nehru University
333. Ajay Bhardwaj, Ph.D. Student and Documentary Filmmaker, Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
334. Ann Smock, University of California, Berkeley
335. Amy E. Alterman, Graduate Student, University of California Los Angeles
336. Baki Tezcan, Associate Professor of History, University of California, Davis
337. M Ghazi Shahnawaz, Jamia Millia Islamia, India
338. Jasbeer Musthafa, PhD Candidate, Western Sydney University, Australia
339. Angana P. Chatterji
340. Eric Hoyt, PhD candidate, Economics, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
341. Alka Acharya, School of International Studies, JNU
342. Urmimala Sarkar , Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
343. Margo Okazawa-Rey, Elihu Root Peace Fund Chair in Women’s Studies, Hamilton College
344. Sunaina Maira, Professor, University of California-Davis, USA

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