Delhi Police Register Case Against Students Protesting Hany Babu's Arrest

The police said that the students were charged for flouting prohibitory orders under Section 144.

New Delhi: The Delhi Police has registered a case against members of various student organisations for flouting prohibitory orders while protesting the arrest of Delhi University professor Hany Babu by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case, officials said on Wednesday.

The All India Students’ Association (AISA) said its member Abhigyan and some students from other organisations such as Bhagat Singh Ekta Manch were detained and later an FIR was filed against them while protesting the arrest of professor Hany Babu at the Delhi University’s Arts faculty.

The Delhi Police said an FIR has been registered against Abhigyan (20), Sushil (30), Salman (20), Sangita (26), Rajbir Kaur (25) and Navdeep Kaur (24).

The student’s body said, “From charging students under fabricated cases to even booking them under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the government has left no stone unturned to turn this pandemic to bring an onslaught on all dissenting voices.

“AISA resolves to fight against these injustices and continue to raise its voice by all democratic means against this silencing of dissent.”

The NIA has accused Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil (54), an associate professor in the Department of English, of propagating Naxal activities and Maoist ideology and being a “co-conspirator” in the Elgar Parishad case.

The case relates to an Elgar Parishad event of December 31, 2017 at Shaniwarwada in Pune, where alleged provocative speeches were made, promoting enmity between various caste groups and leading to violence resulting in loss of life and property and statewide agitation in Maharashtra, an NIA official had earlier said.

The Pune Police had in September last year conducted a raid on Babu’s house and seized his laptop and some books. The NIA later took up the probe in the case.

Several civil society activists and academics have issued statements in support of Babu, saying his arrest is a continuation of the Narendra Modi government’s crackdown on dissenters.

A senior police official of the Delhi Police said, “On Wednesday, 10-12 students of AISA, Bhagat Singh Ekta Munch and other groups started protesting the arrest of professor Hany Babu by the NIA, Mumbai wing behind the Arts Faculty of Delhi University.

“They were apprised that in the view of COVID-19 pandemic and its guidelines, gathering is not allowed and prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC has been issued.

“However, the students kept on protesting despite several request and have been apprehended for violation of order and a case under sections 188 IPC, 3 Epidemic Disease Act and 51/57 DM Act has been registered against them,” the officer said.

(With PTI inputs)