Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA), a student organization at Jawaharlal Nehru University condemns the intimidation of the family of JNU research student and BAPSA activist Jitendra Suna.
Around 12 PM on 23rd November, 2019 (today), 2 policemen from Odisha Police barged into BAPSA activist Jitendra Suna’s home in Kalahandi, Odisha. They interrogated his family asking questions about his background, the number of members in his family and how he reached JNU. One of the policemen was also visibly drunk. The policemen claimed that they had been given orders from higher authorities.
This comes days after the Delhi Police brutally attacked the protesting JNU students including Jitendra.
BAPSA, Ambedkarite students organisation guided by the thoughts of Birsa, Phule and Ambedkar condemns the “authoritative and repressive action of Odisha police and demands that they tender an apology and ensure that families of any activists are not harassed or intimidated in any way.”
Jitendra Suna was one of the candidates for the President’s post in JNUSU this year.
“This is nothing but sheer intimidation of Jitendra’s family with an intent to pressurise him and try to suppress his activism. This action is an attempt of the ruling BJP/RSS regime to intimidate and silence a resistance by the students from marginalised communities who are protesting against the fee hike, the violation of reservation policies and anti-student policies of the government. Odisha police’s action is highly repressive and must be condemned in the strongest possible words,” it said in a statement.
Fraternity Movement JNU unit also extends its solidarity to Jitendra against police action.
“As Jitendra himself pointed out, during the JNUSU elections, the district administration even wished to come to his home and he was then painted as a source of pride for Orissa. But we all know that police and state surveillance is not very far for Dalit, adivasi and Muslim activists, and it is often their families who are targeted in this process,” Fraternity Movement said in a statement.
The Delhi Police earlier lathi-charged the JNU students and also detained a few students on 18th November, during their protest rally to the parliament. The police action that was unleashed upon the protesting students left many injured.
Ongoing protest by the students of JNU is largely over the proposed fee hike provision in the Draft Hostel Manual. Apart from the hostel fee hike, deadline for students to return to hostels and dress code were the major sticking points against which the students were protesting.