Over 200 academics from across the country and around the world have released a statement condemning the recent FIR filed by the Chhattisgarh police against professors Nandini Sundar and Archana Prasad, and political activists Vineet Tiwari and Sanjay Parate on charges of murder and criminal conspiracy.
In a statement released yesterday, November 10, 186 Indian sociologists and 31 others from foreign institutions said that such “motivated charges… are a direct attack on our ability to fulfill our professional responsibilities” to “study and write about a wide variety of communities and their interactions with … the state and social movements”. The signatories also noted with concern “the increasing incidents of attempts to intimidate or falsely accuse” sociologists in the recent past. The statement condemned “the growing nation-wide trend towards the stifling of all voices of dissent”, and appealed to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as the chief ministers of all states, to “uphold the freedom to do critical academic research”.
Among the signatories are eminent sociologists T.K. Oommen, Veena Das and Patricia Uberoi, as well as many others from institutions in Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Lebanon, the UK and US.
Read their statement below:
Additionally, students from the Delhi School of Economics have released a statement expressing support for those accused.
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Note: Nandini Sundar is married to one of the founding editors of The Wire