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: February 23, 2021

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Dhanamanjuri University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 23, 2021, police baton-charged and fired tear gas at Dhanamanjuri University student protesters, resulting in clashes that left as many as 15 students injured.

Students protested demanding the resumption of government college classes after they were suspended due to a faculty boycott. Faculty began the boycott on February 17 over faculty pay. 

On February 23, students from at least two colleges of Dhanamanjuri University staged a rally on campus demanding the resumption of classes. When the students attempted to exit campus and march towards the State Assembly to continue their protest, police fired tear gas. It was reported that some students responded by throwing stones at the police. In the ensuing clash, the police baton-charged students and discharged more tear gas.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of violent force against students in an apparent effort to restrict for the nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly — conduct that is expressly protected by international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a party. State authorities have an obligation to refrain from restricting student-led protest activity, so long as it is nonviolent and responsible. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, police force intended to restrict student expression undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.