A group of more than 400 academics and activists have condemned the recent arrests of climate activist Disha Ravi, Dalit labour rights activist Nodeep Kaur and others, saying these arrests are part of the Narendra Modi government’s larger tactics of repression.
“Various Indian law enforcement agencies and state governments have sought to intimidate, discredit, and prosecute students and young activists alongside other groups, such as farmers, laborers, academics, journalists, comedians, and ordinary citizens, for merely exercising their right to disagree with and question the Government, and support struggles they deem just and important,” reads a joint statement by academics and activists including historian Ramachandra Guha, economist Jean Dreze, linguist Ayesha Kidwai, political scientist Prakash Kashwan and many others.
The statement went on to say: “Indeed, students and young activists, especially from minority communities, have been facing persecution by the Central Government for a long time now, simply because they chose to speak up as conscientious citizens of this country.”
The signatories demanded that Disha Ravi, Nodeep Kaur and others, arrested merely for supporting the farmers movements and for protesting against the Government, be released, and all charges against them dropped.
“We also demand that warrants of a similar nature against others be withdrawn.”