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Free Speech and Academic Freedom under Threat in Indian Universities: says Amnesty India

February 23, 2017 | By

New Delhi: Academic freedom in universities must be protected recent events at Ramjas college in Delhi illustrate the growing threat to freedom of expression on Indian university campuses, said Amnesty International India.

Several people were injured in clashes between student groups in Ramjas college, Delhi on Wednesday. Three journalists told Amnesty International India they had been assaulted by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

On Tuesday, a seminar on ‘Cultures of Protest’ organised at the college was cancelled after members of the ABVP obstructed the event.

Left students were being forcefully detained by Delhi Police in front of Maurice Nagar Police Station after ABVP/BUSU had raised objections over the presence of JNU students Umar Khalid at Ramjas in north Delhi on Wednesday | Photo Source: Times of India

“Universities are supposed to be safe spaces for debate and discussion. But the events at Ramjas College are a shameful reminder of how intimidation and threats continue to restrict free speech on university campuses,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India.

“Authorities need to protect academic freedom, which is crucial to the right to education. The Delhi police must ensure that students at universities can express their opinions without fear of repression by anyone.”

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