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: August 02, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Institution(s):Gauhati University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On August 2, 2022, police assaulted and detained students participating in a peaceful protest at Gauhati University.

At least 500 students from Gauhati University and affiliated colleges had gathered to demand a re-evaluation of their 5th semester exams, alleging irregularities. As they demonstrated, police entered the campus to disperse the students, eventually using force, including charging at them with batons. Police also temporarily detained an unspecified number of students in a bus. Students reported that several people were admitted to the hospital with minor injuries.

On August 3, Gauhati University announced that it had agreed to provide a free re-evaluation of the exams.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of force and arbitrary detention during an on-campus protest. State and university authorities have an obligation to refrain from the use of force against students exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly – conduct that is 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. The use of violence against nonviolent student protesters undermines academic freedom, university autonomy, and democratic society generally.