The Pune Police on Tuesday, 10 September, conducted searches at the residence of Delhi University (DU) Professor Hany Babu in Uttar Pradesh's Noida city in connection with its probe into the 2017 Elgaar Parishad case for alleged Maoist links, according to officials.
In a statement later during the day, Babu said that the officers conducted searches without a warrant, without providing reasons for the same and added that the officers seized his phone and his laptop, along with the phones of his family members.
The raid was widely condemned by students and teachers, who expressed their solidarity on social media.
The Delhi University Teachers' Association slammed the raid on Babu's house and issued a statement on it.
“Such raids without search warrants are against the very essence of democracy, individual freedom, and open the door for planting evidence. Arbitrary use of instruments of the State to harass and intimidate dissent is inexcusable,” DUTA said in a statement.
Such intolerance towards criticism and dissent was the basis for the insidious attempt that was made last year to amend the Delhi University Act and apply ESMA, DUTA said.
"We demand an immediate end to such blatantly threatening postures towards voices of dissent and democracy. This attack on academic freedom and freedom of expression will be opposed tooth and nail by the teachers of Delhi University and other academic institutions in the country," it added.
‘Prolonged Intimidation to Silence Activists ’
The students of English Department at Delhi University also issued a statement in support of Babu and called for a protest on the incident.
"These surprise searches without warrants are illegal and amount to extreme harassment. It is incumbent upon legal institutions to oppose such arbitrary raids and prevent/oppose the misuse of inherently dangerous laws such as the UAPA," it said.
Further, the statement said that while several attempts have been made by the Pune Police to arrest human rights activists, it was stopped from doing so after the Supreme Court stepped in.
"The good judgement of our honourable courts suggest that this case is nothing but an example of prolonged intimidation and harassment by the Pune police, and, by extension, the current government in power, to silence activists, professors and other citizens who support human rights in this country," it said.
*Statement in Support of Prof. Hany Babu and Open Call for Protest* We, the students of the English Department, Delhi...Posted by Amanpreet Kaur on Tuesday, September 10, 2019
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) also condemned the raids and said it “stands in solidarity with the Professor and supports the statement of the Delhi University Teachers' Association.”
CPIM strongly condemns the raid on house of Delhi University Prof Dr Hany Babu. Stands in solidarity with the Professor and supports the statement of the Delhi University Teachers' Association.— CPI (M) (@cpimspeak) September 10, 2019
Read DUTA's full statement:https://t.co/PSRUERLhh8
‘While Terror Accused Adorn Halls of Parliament, Intellectuals Are Harassed’
Kashmiri political activist Shehla Rashid said, “While terror accused, tadipar and criminals adorn the halls of the Parliament, intellectuals and innocent citizens are placed under arrest, harassed and charged with bogus cases.”
In solidarity with Dr. @hany_babu While terror accused, tadipar and criminals adorn the halls of the Parliament, intellectuals and innocent citizens are placed under arrest, harassed and charged with bogus cases. #India #Fascism https://t.co/5umW9AzyTA— Shehla Rashid شہلا رشید (@Shehla_Rashid) September 10, 2019
In solidarity with @hany_babu , intellectual are being targeted in Modi govt, terror accused and criminals are enjoying the seats in the Democratic Hall of parliament and innocent child in #kashmir are being arrested and intellectual and scholars are being raided. https://t.co/XuNBPOPP8R— #WithKashmir (@AnsariLadakh) September 10, 2019
Deeply distressed and in solidarity, sir. The statement will be released with many signatories tomorrow. We wish you well and strongly condemn this.— Amanpreet Kaur (@Amanpre99312346) September 10, 2019
In solidarity with Hany Babu. https://t.co/jtxbz9pRPj— Dalit Chef (@TangdiKabab1) September 10, 2019
. Read more on India by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand Deaths‘Harassment’: Students, Teachers Slam Raid on DU Prof Hany Babu . Read more on India by The Quint.