On November 8, 2021, police baton-charged students in an effort to break up an apparently peaceful protest over plans to privatize Sri Sai Baba National Degree College.
Hundreds of students participated in the protest. At least one student was hospitalized for a head injury, which the Hindu reported occurred during the baton charge. Police claim the student was struck by stones that were allegedly thrown by police.
Scholars at Risk is concerned by the use of force to restrict students’ 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 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a party. State authorities have a responsibility to protect freedom of expression and refrain from using force to restrict such nonviolent conduct. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, use of force to quell peaceful campus protests undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.