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Regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Assam varsity condemns attack

Teachers, students express solidarity with JNU

Rokibuz Zaman Guwahati Published 07.01.20, 06:40 PM
Gauhati University teachers and students stage a sit-in on the campus on Tuesday.

Gauhati University teachers and students stage a sit-in on the campus on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos

Teachers and students sat together here on Tuesday in protest against Sunday night’s violence on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus.

The Gauhati University Teachers’ Association, Post-Graduate Students’ Union and University Law College Students’ Union staged a three-hour sit-in here to express solidarity with and condemned the attack on the students and teachers of JNU, which left at least 40 students injured, including a few from Assam. Around 50 students and teachers participated in the demonstration.

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Akhil Ranjan Dutta, president of Gauhati University Teachers’ Association, said, “We express solidarity with the students and teachers of JNU, wish the injured early recovery and raise serious concern over the failure of law and order-enforcing agencies on the JNU campus on the day of the incident.”

He said there is lot of misinformation regarding JNU but the university represents true India and symbolises the unity and integrity of the nation. “JNU provides a liberal democratic space. JNU is the only university in the country which is truly national as it does not have territorial boundaries and students from every nook and corner study there. It is very diverse in nature,” Dutta said.

He said universities should be an open space where everyone can express their views and exercise freedom of expression.

“It very unfortunate that university campuses in India are being converted into spaces of fear, repression and hooliganism, subverting the lofty ideals and constitutional ethos on which these temples of learning are grounded,” Dutta said, reiterating the organisations’ opinion as expressed in a joint statement on Monday.

Gauhati University Post-Graduate Students’ Union general secretary Moon Talukdar told The Telegraph, “The government must take adequate action to prevent the occurrence of any such barbarism, that occurred on JNU campus on Sunday night, in the future. Let the campuses of higher learning remain free and democratic to enable exchange of ideas without hindrance.”

The JNU Students’ Union has blamed the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a right-wing student body affiliated to the BJP, while the ABVP has blamed Left parties for the attack.

The JNU Students Union has been agitating against steep hostel fee hike, which stalled normal activities in the university. To end the stalemate, the Union human resource development ministry and the University Grants Commission (UGC) promised additional funds for JNU. However, the JNU authorities did not roll back the fee hike, which compelled JNUSU to continue with the strike.

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