Rights

'Stop Harassment of Academics': Activists, Scholars Express Solidarity With DU Teacher Rakesh Ranjan

Ranjan, who is an associate professor of economics at Shri Ram College of Commerce, was summoned for questioning by the NIA on August 14.

New Delhi: A group of activists and academics have released a statement in solidarity with Rakesh Ranjan, who was summoned for questioning by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on August 14.

Ranjan, who is an associate professor of economics at Shri Ram College of Commerce, is reportedly being investigated in the Bhima-Koregaon case with P.K. Vijayan, another Delhi University teacher, who was also summoned on August 14.

The statement pointed out that Ranjan, who had completed his BA from Delhi’s Ramjas College and pursued higher studies in JNU and completed MA and MPhil in Economics from the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, had been felicitated with the Distinguished Teacher Award by the President of India in 2009.

The signatories held that Rajan was being “trapped” in a witch-hunt alongside a number of individuals who were “being persecuted on patently false charges related to the Bhima-Koregaon incident”.

Also read: Elgar Parishad: NIA Arrests Hany Babu, ‘Pressured Him to Implicate Colleagues, Others,’ Says Wife

“The Union Government must stop the deliberate harassment of academics and activists, which is destroying our democracy, violating civil liberties and subverting the Constitutional order,” the statement said, demanding an end to the persecution of innocent persons.

The entire text of the statement has been reproduced below:

§

Statement in solidarity with Rakesh Ranjan issued by Emeritus Professors, Faculty Members & Alumni of Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, JNU and Colleagues of Delhi University on August 15, 2020:

“Rakesh Ranjan, Assistant Professor, Delhi University, who is our friend and colleague, was summoned for questioning by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on August 14. According to media reports he is being investigated on the Bhima-Koregaon matter. P K Vijayan, another Delhi University teacher was also summoned on the same case.

We know Rakesh from his student days. After finishing his BA from Delhi’s Ramjas College, he pursued higher studies in JNU and completed MA and MPhil in Economics from the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning. While pursuing his PhD on the agrarian transformation of Bihar, Rakesh took up the job of teaching Economics in the Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi. He is an accomplished and popular teacher, always accessible to the students. Rakesh was felicitated with the Distinguished Teacher Award by the President of India in 2009. As close friends and colleagues of Rakesh we know that he has never been involved in any activity which can warrant an investigation by the NIA.

It is by now clear that a number of individuals are being persecuted on patently false charges related to the Bhima-Koregaon incident. What shocks us is that someone like Rakesh Ranjan is also being trapped in the same witch-hunt. Not only is he a serious academic and teacher, but also a most generous soul incapable of involvement in any violence. We strongly feel that this cruel persecution of innocent persons should immediately end. The Union Government must stop the deliberate harassment of academics and activists, which is destroying our democracy, violating civil liberties and subverting the Constitutional order. There should not be any further action by any investigating agency against Rakesh Ranjan in this matter.”

Signatories:

  1. Amit Bhaduri, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  2. Anamitra Roychowdhury, Delhi University
  3. Arijit Hajra, CESP, 1997 Batch
  4. Arundhati Sarkar Bose, CESP, 1997 Batch
  5. Atulan Guha
  6. Avanindra Thakur, Jindal Global University
  7. Bodhisatwa Maity
  8. Debarshi Das, CESP, 1997 Batch
  9. Deepankar Basu, Umass, Amherst
  10. Dipa Sinha, Ambedkar University Delhi
  11. Gogol Mitra Thakur
  12. Himanshu, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  13. Indranil Chowdhury, Delhi University
  14. Jayati Ghosh, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  15. Malini Chakravarty, Economist, New Delhi
  16. Mausumi Das, Delhi University
  17. Mihir Pandey, Delhi University
  18. Nalini Nayak, Delhi University
  19. Poonam Srivastava
  20. Prabhat Patnaik, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  21. Prasenjit Bose, CESP, 1997 Batch
  22. Praveen Jha, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  23. Prithviraj Guha, Presidency University
  24. Priyanka Srivastava
  25. Pulin Nayak, Delhi University
  26. Rajendra Prasad Kundu, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  27. Ravi Goel
  28. Rohit Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  29. Santanu Basu
  30. Saumyajit Bhattacharya, Delhi University
  31. Shantanu De Roy, TERI University
  32. Shipra Nigam, Consultant Economist, Delhi
  33. Smita Gupta, Economist and activist
  34. Soumya Dutta, South Asian University
  35. Sriparna Bandyopadhyay
  36. Subhanil Chowdhury, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata
  37. Sumangala Damodaran, Ambedkar University Delhi
  38. Sumit Sarkar, CESP, 1997 Batch
  39. Sunanda Sen, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  40. Surajit Das, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  41. Surajit Mazumdar, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  42. Taposik Banerjee, Ambedkar University Delhi
  43. Utsa Patnaik, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  44. Uttaran Kundu, CESP, 1997 Batch
  45. Vijay, Delhi University
  46. Vijoo Krishnan, Ex-President, JNUSU
  47. Vipin Negi