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 19, 2023

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Jawaharlal Nehru University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On February 19, 2023, a clash broke out between members of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at the student activity center at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), leading to the injury of a research scholar.

Members of the JNUSU reported that they had just completed a march when a group of students affiliated with ABVP attacked them. The march was conducted in memory of Darshan Solanki, a Dalit student from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, who died by suicide after experiencing caste-based discrimination. According to JNUSU members, ABVP also vandalized portraits of Marxist and political leaders and wrote graffiti on the wall.

In contrast, ABVP members reported that students from the JNUSU removed a garland from a portrait during the religious festival, leading to a clash.

Nasser Mohammed Moideen, a research scholar from Tamil Nadu and a JNUSU member suffered neck and head injuries and was hospitalized.

Several leaders from Tamil Nadu including the Chief Minister, M. K. Stalin condemned the ABVP and called for strict action from the university administration.

Scholars at Risk is concerned by reports of students violently attacking other students. Students must refrain from violence, especially on campus, and respect the right to freedom of association and freedom of expression. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, violent attacks on campus undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)