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Govt of India using Covid-19 to crush dissent: IIM-B 'concerned members' protest

Safoora Zargar
By Our Representative
In a solidarity statement, “concerned members” of the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B) have said that the Central government has used the Covid-19 pandemic “as a cover to crush all forms of dissent that are central to a healthy democracy.”
Taking strong exception to the recent arrests of scores of student activists who had mobilised against what they have called “the patently discriminatory CAA-NPR-NRC, including a pregnant woman, Safoora Zargar”, the statement says, this is “meant to further intimidate not only India’s 200 million Muslim citizens but all those who question government’s actions.”
“While the government has gone about arresting student activists under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the real perpetrators that incited violence in Delhi, including a union minister, have not been charged”, the statement says.
“Even as the pandemic rages in crowded prisons, the government has refused to heed to multiple appeals to release these students as well as senior citizens including Prof Anand Teltumbde, Sudha Bharadwaj and others”, the statement notes, demanding that the government should “immediately release all political prisoners.”
The statement calls upon “fellow academics everywhere in India to stand up in solidarity and hold the government to account”, adding, “Along with the economy, India’s democracy needs to be unlocked, too.”
While giving the names of those who have signed the statement, it says, “We have withheld last names and used initials to protect the signatories.”

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