Oppose and condemn the arbitrary, vindictive arrest of Prof. Hany Babu

Hany Babu

Janhastakshep takes the serious note of, opposes and condemns the arbitrary and vindictive act of the government of India of arresting Prof. Hany Babu a popular teacher of Delhi University, latest in the process of arresting the academicians, litterateurs and intellectuals to stifle the voices of dissent and create an atmosphere of terror in the country. Hany Babu has been arrested in the Edgar Parishad Bhima-Koregaon concocted case. Like many others arrested in this connection, Hany Babu also did not attend the meetin of Elgar Parishad, organized on 31st of December 2017 at Pune’s Shaniwarwada fort, as a symbol of Dalit assertion to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon Bhima in which the Mahar soldiers of East India Company had defeated the Peshwa army, although attending such meetings is not crime and does not warrant arrest. According to retired Justice P.B Sawant, ‘Elgar’ means loud invitation or loud declaration. The annual gathering at Bhima Koregaon is  organized to celebrate the dignity of Dalits the down trodden community of the country but is being startlingly projected as seditious.

Prof. Babu is the 12th intellectual to be arrested by NIA in this connection. The others arrested earlier are, Rona Wilson, Prof. Soma Sen, Sudhir Dhawle, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, P. Varavara Rao, Prof Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gamslavis, Gautam Navlakha and Prof. Ananad Teltumbde. Varavara Rao is seriously ill and has got infected with Corona in the jail. Professor Hany Babu was summoned to Mumbai on 24th July for questioning and was put under arrest after three days of questioning. In a statement, the NIA said “accused Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil was propagating Naxal activities and Maoist ideology and was a co-conspirator with other arrested accused (in the Elgar Parishad case)”. In September 2019, Babu’s home in Noida had been raided and searched by the Pune police, which first registered a case in the matter. It had booked Babu under charges of sedition and taken away his laptops, a mobile phone and pen drives and two books. The confiscated devices are subject to manipulation by the NIA.

Hany Babu along with many other activists and intellectuals is associated with the ‘Committee for the Defense and Release of Prof. GN Saibaba’; almost 100% physically handicapped English Professor of Delhi University, convicted for alleged Maoist links. This is the third arrest since the NIA took over the Elgar Parishad case from Pune Police earlier this year, after the Maharashtra Government announced to review it, Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha being the first two. After arresting him the NIA told the press that he had been propagating the Maoist ideology along with the others arrested earlier. Prof Hany Babu is known in the Delhi University fraternity as a social justice activist who documented the data of filled and unfilled posts of reserved categories obtained through RTIs.

Arrest and harassment of Hany Babu and other intellectuals who raise the voices for the depressed and marginalized communities; oppressed classes and castes amount to attempts of crushing the dissent and create the atmosphere of terror among the people. The arrest of Hany Babu and others before him is designed to suppress the voices against the anti-people policies of the present Indian government and to divert the attention from the real perpetrators of Bhima-Koregaon violence, Sambhaji Bhinde and Milind Ekbote, associated with the RSS.

Janhastakshep demands the immediate release of all activists and intellectuals charged in the fabricated Bhima Koregaon case. It also demands immediate release of all the anti-CAA, NRC and NPR activists falsely implicated in the cases of communal violence. Janhastakshep is opposed to the draconian laws like UAPA, NSA PSA. It appeals to all the democratic forces of the country to organize and mobilize themselves against the oppressive measures of the state aimed at suppressing  the right to dissent and freedom to thought, expression and speech.

Prof. Ish Mishra (Convener)
Dr. Vikas Bajpai (Co-convener)



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