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: January 09, 2018

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment | Other

Institution(s):Rajasthan University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 9, 2018, police and students clashed on the campus of Rajasthan University during a protest by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — a Hindu Nationalist student organization.  

More than 200 students had reportedly gathered on the campus of Rajasthan University, protesting against what they claimed were problems with university admissions and housing policies. Campus police attempted to disperse the protesters, and when they were unable to do so, called in reinforcements. The police proceeded to use their batons to stop the student protest, injuring six students, arresting ten and briefly detaining an additional 20.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about government troops’ entry onto campus absent a compelling justification, as well as the use of force and arrest, apparently to retaliate for or prevent student expression. State and university authorities have a responsibility not to interfere with the rights to free expression and assembly, so long as they are exercised peacefully and responsibly, and must avoid disproportionate measures that may result in harm. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such incidents have a chilling effect on academic freedom and university autonomy, and undermine democratic society generally.