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Repression on a peaceful educational movement in Telangana is unprecedented: AIFRTE, NAPM

By Our Representative
All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE), in a statement has said it is “shocked to learn of the arrests of several senior leaders of the Telangana Save Education Committee (TSEC), the Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV) and Progressive Youth League (PYL) on September 14, 2018 at around 11:30 AM, when the inaugural event of Telangana Vidya Porata Yatra (Telangana March for Education) was starting from the Telangana Martyrs Pillar, Gunpark, Hyderabad.
“The police roughly handled and arrested Prof K Chakradhara Rao, Prof G Haragopal (both Presidium members of AIFRTE and president and general secretary respectively of TSEC) and Prof K Lakshminarayana (member of the national executive, AIFRTE, and organising secretary of TSEC). They have been detained at various police stations in Hyderabad city”, the statement says.
Pointing out that the cops manhandled president of TVV), general secretary of PYL, and vice-president of PYL, AIFRTE said, there are “nearly 100 persons belonging to students’, youth, women and other mass organisations who have been arrested.”
It said, “This repression on a peaceful educational movement in Telangana is unprecedented and highly condemnable. It is of a piece with the autocratic conduct of the government which has governed the state until the recent dissolution of state assembly.”
Demanding that all arrested persons be released, AIFRTE said, “Assembling in a public place and expressing opinions or protesting on a matter critically related to the society at large is a fundamental right in any civilized society.”

NAPM statement

In a separate statement, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has said that the "repressive attack" on the Telangana Vidya Porata (Save Education) Yatra last week. including "unlawful detention and manhandling of senior academicians, activists and students" is "shocking".
Taking "strong exception" to the "clampdown" by the Telangana government, NAPM said, "This is a direct affront on the constitutional right to freedom of peaceful association and expression for lawful demands, particularly for an issue as important as education which is recognized as a fundamental and human right."
While the DGP of the state has ‘apologized’ to Prof Haragopal for the police action, NAPM said, "The same is insufficient and at the bare minimum, a formal written, public apology and over and above that, prompt legal action against politicians and officers who ordered such forceful police action, must be undertaken."
(Updated on September 22, 2018)

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