SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: November 01, 2012

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Institution(s):Jadavpur University and other colleges of Kolkata

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

New or Ongoing:New Incident

A group of 12 students from Jadavpur University were arrested and later released by the joint forces of Nandalalpur village in Jhargram in the West Midnapore district of West Bengal.  Although the students were never charged with any crime, they were detained for 6 hours and allegedly beaten up while being interrogated.
At the time of the arrests, the students, members of the United Students Democratic Front (an allegedly Maoist student organization), and Jharkhand Students Federation, were visiting several villages of West Bengal, campaigning for a convention of the All-Bengal Students Association, and attempting to form a joint students body, the All Bengal Students Union.
According to police, they were conducting a raid of the village of Nandalalpur based on reports that a squad of Maoists was camping there, when they arrived at a house in which the 12 students were staying. The police took the students into custody at that point, despite the fact that the students were not then, or at any later point, accused of criminal activity.
All the 12 detained students were released after each of them signed a personal release bond.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the detention and beating of students, reportedly based solely on the students’ perceived associations with particular individuals. Students and other members of higher education communities have the right to freedom of association, and to engage peacefully in expressive activity, without fear of physical harm or arrest. Such wrongful arrests and physical attacks undermine academic freedom and harm democratic society generally.