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29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

Right to dissent under stress, feel Delhi prefessors following ABVP attack on Ramjas event, Culture of Protest

By Our Representative
The quiet and sprawling, though busy, campus of the Delhi University (DU) is in the throes of a new change. There is a strong flutter among students and faculty of the campus and DU-affiliated colleges, following the February 21 BJP students' wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) “attack” on a Ramjas College seminar, that the right to dissent has come under extreme stress.
A case in point is DU professor of English, Sachin Nirmala Narayanan, who teaches in Dyal Singh College. In a note he first circulated on a close WhatsApp group, but later made it public through Facebook, he what he saw on the campus – even a physically challenged colleague, whom he escorted in the campus late at night, was “badly roughed up.”
Coming to the controversial seminar held at the Ramjas College, he said, it was organized by the college’s literary society, and had “all the permissions for the topic and the speakers”, though adding, the organized had perhaps “erred in not inviting the representatives of the sangh (RSS/ABVP) who also has a lumpen culture of protest”.
Referring to the ABVP objection to allowing two Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students to be part of the penal discussion, Prof Narayanan says, “Whether one likes it or not Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid are students with very good academic credential.” Both are are part of PhD programmes, and Umar was to speak his on PhD work on atrocities against adivasis in Bastar.

Even as the seminar was about to begin, Prof Narayanan says, many students were “attacked from behind with bricks and lathis by the ABVP goons.” In fact, ABVP people “tried to strangle” Prasanta Chakravarty, associate Professor, department of English, “with the muffler he was wearing by pulling on the two ends in the opposite direction and was beaten up.”
He adds, “Ramjas students and teachers were locked in and continuously threatened and attacked by ABVP for four hours inside the college. Chairs were hurled at two women teachers, the goons were openly looking for another male teacher of the college with brazen threats of violence.”
On the second day, February 22, when around 200 protesting students and teachers marched to the Maurice Nagar police thana, they were “subjected to a barrage of eggs, glass bottles and heavy stones on their way as well as in front of the thana in full view of the police”, says Prof Narayanan, adding, “They did not allow the injured students to lodge FIRs, targeted women continuously with sexual threats and raised communal, anti-Muslim slogans.”
In fact, he says, “The police who never detained the ABVP, then started physical attack on teachers, students and even the media personnel by around 6 pm in the name of detaining. Many women were manhandled by male police along with male protesters injuring and traumatizing all.”
Ayesha Kidwai, President, JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA), and Pradeep K Shinde, Secretary, JNUTA, in a statement have said, the attack on Ramjas students “a larger pattern”, adding over the last couple of years, the universities in India have witnessed a consistent pattern of attack on the universities.”
They give the example of what happened previously in “Hyderabad Central University, Jadavpur University, JNU, the Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh, and Jay Narayan Vyas University (JNVU), Jodhpur.
In a separate appeal, activists and experts have expressed their solidarity with the battered professors and students who have dared to stand up to “ABVP hooliganism”. Those who have signed include Prof Ankur Sarin of IIM, Ahmedabad; Aruna Roy of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information; Binayak Sen of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL); Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA); and Sandeep Pandey, visiting faculty, IIT, Gandhinagar.
Meanwhile, Abhishek Pratap Singh, a Delhi-based Sangh activist, has admitted, the ABVP objection was “not to the event but to the panel of speakers for the seminar”, which included Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid, both from Kashmir. Delhi-based BJP leader Nupur Sharma has claimed she has “received images” from a DU professor “which supposedly depicted atrocities committed by Leftists on ABVP members”, commenting, “Never forget: Left kills our people in Kerala.”

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India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
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Counterview Desk
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Counterview Desk
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Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

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Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
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India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
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An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
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Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

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By Nandini Oza*
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By Sheshu Babu*
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