Pune Police on Tuesday searched the home of Delhi University professor Hany Babu in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, in connection with the Elgar Parishad case, PTI reported. Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivaji Pawar, however, said that no arrest had been made.
“We have conducted a search operation at Babu’s residence in Noida in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case registered at the Vishrambaug police station in Pune,” Pawar said. Deputy Commissioner of Police Bachchan Singh said that they had seized electronic devices.
The 45-year-old professor, who teaches English at the Delhi University, is an activist and the coordinator of the Alliance of Social Justice. He is also a member of the Joint Action Front for Democratic Education, according to The Hindu. He was also a member of the Committee for the Defense and Release of Dr GN Saibaba, which had criticised the rejection of bail to the jailed professor.
“Today the Pune police entered our house at 6.30 in the morning,” Babu’s wife Jenny Rowena said on Facebook. “They said that Hany Babu [my husband] who teaches at Delhi University English Department, is involved in the Bhima Koregaon case and for this they could search the house without a search warrant.” The professor’s home was searched for six hours and the police seized three books, Babu’s laptop, phone, hard disks and pen drives, Rowena said.
Hany Babu speaks
Delhi University Teachers Association condemns the raid on DU Professor Hany Babu
Today morning at 6:30 am, the house of Dr. Hany Babu who lives in Noida, was raided by a contingent of Pune Police for six hours without a search warrant. They searched the entire house and took away all electronic devices, laptops, pen drives, mobile phone, etc. At the end of the search, the Pune Police claimed that the raid was in connection with the Bhima Koreagaon case.
Dr. Hany Babu is an Associate Professor at the English Department of the University of Delhi for more than a decade. His wife also teaches in the English Department of Miranda House, University of Delhi. Not only has he been an outstanding teacher, but has been an active participant in struggles for academic freedom, democratic right, lawful and democratic functioning of the university, equal access to university education and social justice.
Such raids without search warrants are against the very essence of democracy, individual freedom, and open the door for planting evidence. Arbitrary use of instruments of the state to harass and intimidate dissent is inexcusable. Such intolerance towards criticism and dissent was the basis for the insidious attempt that was made last year to amend the Delhi University Act and apply ESMA. We demand an immediate end to such blatantly threatening postures towards voices of dissent and democracy. This attack on academic freedom and freedom of expression will be opposed tooth and nail by the teachers of Delhi University and other academic institutions in the country.