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'Rapists have no religion': Top Indian scholars defend Prof Tejaswini Desai's statement

By Our Representative 

In a solidarity statement, the India Academic Freedom Network (IAFN), a network of university teachers and students, has said Prof Tejaswini Desai of Kolhapur Institute of Technology’s College of Engineering is being "harassed and hounded for countering statements in her classroom that Muslims are rapists and never get punished for their crimes."
Referring to an interview to a news outlet, Prof Desai had stated that “some students said Hindus never ever engaged in riots and Babri Masjid was demolished on the orders of the Supreme Court.” Prof Desai was concerned, she said, for “students of other religions in the class”.
In order that "things should not get ugly", she told them that rape is not limited to any particular religion or community and rapists don’t have any religion or caste. "It comes under the category of heinous crime,” she said.
IAFN said, "Her assertion that rapists can be from any community is borne out by the most superficial glance at newspaper reports. What she said was recorded, then doctored and circulated on social media, leading to her being forced by college authorities to go on leave and there is even a police investigation against her."
It demanded, "We call on the college authorities to revoke her forced leave, to ensure Prof Desai's safety and enable her to return honourably to her duties."
Signed by as many as 88 students and faculty of top academic institutes of India, the statement noted, "As attacks on teachers grow by the day all over the country, both by state institutions and by student activists of right wing organisations, we demand that the state, and all university/ college authorities take steps to control such intimidation and ensure academic freedom including the right of free discussion within the classroom."



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