Mumbai: Teachers' association issues statement in support of student-activist charged with sedition

Updated: Feb 09, 2020, 07:32 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

The statement also requested support from the public at large against the constant attacks on the university.

TISS institute in Deona
TISS institute in Deona

The teachers' association of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) stood in solidarity with its students as they face the heat of the Mumbai Police. The association has formally issued an official statement of support condemning the sedition charges against Kris Chudawala, a student of TISS. The statement also requested support from the public at large against the constant attacks on the university.

The statement, which was issued on Saturday, called sedition an outdated law. The teachers' association stood with its queer student, Chudawala, and termed the case against them a hate crime. The association claimed that a case had been filed against them on flimsy grounds, for slogans which were allegedly raised during a peaceful rally. The statement read, "The revealing of the identity of a young, trans student, who was only exercising their democratic right to protest, amounts to harassment and is tantamount to a hate crime." The student community of TISS applauded their teachers' move.

The teachers' statement spoke about how TISS has always produced skilled and committed professionals in the social sector. It also said that TISS has helped execute several governmental policies, aimed at marginalized communities. They regretted that their efforts have been devalued by projecting the institute as a space that promotes activities which undermine the nation. They concluded the statement by saying, "We hope that all the citizens who stand by the Constitution and its values will join us in condemning these unwarranted attacks on individuals within the institution and on the institution itself."

Cops issuing notices
Meanwhile, police officers at Nagpada started issuing notices to participants at Mumbai Bagh on Saturday. Mumbai Police issued notices to protestors under Section 149 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Section 149 states that any police officer can intervene for the purpose of preventing a cognisable offence. Cops have also started noting down the personal details of people joining the protest, such as their names, numbers and addresses. On Friday, about 200 women protestors were booked by the Nagpada police on the grounds that they were obstructing road repair work being carried out by the BMC.

"They have started issuing notices to protesters. They have noted the details of women who refused to take the notices in a register," said a protestor on condition of anonymity. "We suspect that the next step will be evicting protestors forcefully," she added. The police refused to comment when asked about the action taken against the protests.

Inputs by Anurag Kamble

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