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: March 29, 2023

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Institution(s):University of Delhi

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On March 29, 2023, state police forces detained 15 female students and members of the All India Students’ Association (AISA) who were staging a demonstration at the University of Delhi (DU).

The AISA students were protesting in solidarity with IPWC students about a lack of security at a recent annual cultural festival, Shruti, that had taken place at the Indraprastha Women’s College (IPWC), during which several men scaled the College’s boundary walls and harassed students. The students accused the IPWC administration and police of failing to take action to prevent the repeated harassment of IPWC students. Police detained fifteen students, citing a failure to obtain approval for holding the protest. Students were reportedly transported in buses to the police station and later released that evening.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about police detaining students peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression on campus-conduct which 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. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, the use of force to restrict or deter nonviolent 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)