Statement on the violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University

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The British International Studies Association (BISA) condemns unreservedly the brutal attacks on the students and faculty of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 5 January.

This is part of an ongoing campaign of intimidation towards JNU, which we likewise condemn. BISA, in line with its public benefit obligations as a UK charity, is committed to promoting the right of academics and students to peaceful assembly – whether in the UK or overseas. Simply put, students and faculty must have the right to speak and organise freely on university campuses, regardless of the policies of the government of the day.

We urge the Indian authorities to establish a fully independent public inquiry into the violence and ensure those responsible are brought to justice. We also urge the Indian government to uphold the core principle of academic freedom, not least to avoid further damage to the Indian higher education system and its international relationships.

BISA supports productive academic exchange with scholars at universities in India. We stand in solidarity with all our colleagues at JNU.