Jadavpur Student Protests

Students Rise-up Against police brutality inside the Jadavpur University

The following article is an eye witness account by a student activist from Kolkata – Zadok Allen{{1}} on the very recent police atrocity (backed by TMC state govt.) on students protesting against sexual violence at Jadavpur University in West Bengal.

The New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) absolutely condemns the Trinamool Congress backed State Terror and stand in complete solidarity with the students of Jadavpur University. Today we participated in the solidarity protest held in Bangalore were over 200 people participated. A short report and video of today’s event will follow soon.

Editors
Socialism.in

The night of September 17th, 2014, as I sat nonchalantly talking to a friend on facebook, a status popped up on my facebook feed which captured my attention. It spoke about how police had entered the Jadavpur University (JU) campus and were marching towards students who were holding a peaceful demonstration against a faulty investigation committee. What happened next made my heart sink.

Sometime around two in the morning, an overwhelming number of police force, along with goons from the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal, had started lathi charging the students, at times resorting to kicks and punches, seriously injuring several, and most damningly, molesting female students on campus.

Vice Chancellor of University, a mindless slave to his political overlords, instead of backing the students and taking responsibility for their safety, openly allowed the cops and the goons to attack the students. And all of this for what? For peacefully holding demonstrations within the campus premises to make sure that justice was meted out to the girl who was sexually molested in the events that transpired on the night of the 28th of August? For singing songs while the VC sat in his air-conditioned room with an attached kitchen and a bathroom, refusing to “lower his standards by even speaking to the students”? The protesters’ demands were reasonable: that the VC issue a statement regarding the events of 28th August.

The police atrocity didn’t end there. They started arresting students, and manhandling several others soon after. Following this several students had to be admitted to the KPC medical hospital, and at least one of them is under ventilation and in critical condition. Not only did the students brave this heinous attack, refusing to back down to this act of blatant oppression, they camped near the police station to seek their friends’ release. As the day dawned, several of us (mostly youth) visited JU to contribute to the funds to help treat the injured and stand in solidarity with the students. If they could stand up to the brutality of state machinery, who would stand beside them, if not us?

From 17th till yesterday, there have been huge protest rallies held on the streets of Kolkata and yesterday especially over 100,000 students and democratic-minded individuals protested. Did the TMC really think it was so easy to break them?

The Students of Jadavpur University have shown the way forward and have raised their voices against servility, against patriarchal practices and prejudice, against state sponsored terror and injustice, all for a better tomorrow. It is time to raise your voice and show solidarity!

But human beings are not machines, and however powerful the pressure to conform, they sometimes are so moved by what they see as injustice that they dare to declare their independence. In that historical possibility lies hope.” (Howard Zinn)

[[1]] Name Changed [[1]]