On September 14, 2021, police in Bengaluru baton charged students leading a protest march over the government’s National Education Policy.
As hundreds of students from the group, Campus Front of India, rallied and marched to Vidhana Soudha, the state legislature, police on the scene began beating them with batons. While their march had blocked traffic at different points, the students apparently protested peacefully. ETV Baharat reported that some of the students were treated at a hospital for injuries sustained during the police response.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of force to restrict the nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly — conduct that is expressly protected by international human rights standards including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a party. State security forces have an obligation to refrain from using force to restrict or retaliate against such conduct. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, the use of force to restrict student expression undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).