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: January 17, 2024

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Maharaja’s College

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On January 17, 2024, two members of the Fraternity Movement, the student wing of the Welfare Party of India, violently attacked Nizamuddin KM, an assistant professor of Arabic at Maharaja’s College over the suspension of another Fraternity Movement member.

The students – Mohammed Rashid, an undergraduate studying Arabic and an unnamed friend – accused Nizamuddin of authorizing the suspension of a third Fraternity Movement member for allegedly assaulting two Arabic department students on a train to Hyderabad on January 13. On January 17, Rashid and his friend entered Nizamuddin’s office and stabbed him with a sharp object. Nizamuddin was transported to the hospital and filed a police report while he was there.

On January 18, tensions between the Fraternity Movement and SFI escalated with another on-campus stabbing attack against an SFI student leader (see report). On January 19, college officials convened an emergency meeting and decided to temporarily close the campus and investigate the clashes between the student groups.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violent attacks on campus by students against a faculty member. Students must refrain from violence, especially on campus, and respect the right to freedom of association. University authorities must take reasonable measures to ensure safe living conditions for students. In addition to harm to the immediate victims, violent attacks on students undermine academic freedom and democratic society generally.

Sources:
*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)
https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2024/Jan/18/kerala-maharajas-student-stabs-assistant-professor-on-campus-absconds
https://www.onmanorama.com/news/kerala/2024/01/18/maharajas-college-closed-sfi-leader-faculty-attack.html
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/student-stabs-assistant-professor-at-college-in-kerala-absconds/articleshow/106973877.cms
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/maharajas-college-clash-sfi-unit-secretary-abdul-nasser-stabbed-in-early-morning-assault/article67751132.ece