Nalsar students support NUJS students opposing illegal slum demolition (stock photo)Nalsar students support NUJS students opposing illegal slum demolition (stock photo)

NUJS Kolkata students were allegedly groped and brutally assaulted by “goons” after confronting contractors about the illegal demolition of local slums, the law school Student Judicial Association (SJA) said in a statement on its website.

An Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) initiative to engage IDIA scholars with social causes, had seen six students obtaining a stay order from the Calcutta high court against the demolition of the Subhas Sarovar slums, where 22 families resided.

The slums were scheduled to be demolished for a “beautification” project linked to the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

However, when the student group went with a copy of the court order to confront the government contractor that demolished the slums despite the order, female NUJS students were allegedly groped and male students were assaulted until they fell unconscious, according to the SJA statement.

When the students tried to escape the gates of the area were shut and the goons hired by the contractor continued to beat them up, said the account.

It is understood that the students have not suffered serious injuries.

The Calcutta high court has now ordered the state to rehabilitate the affected slum dwellers and initiated contempt action after having been approached by the NUJS students again.

NUJS vice chancellor Ishwara Bhat was not reachable for comment at the time of going to press.

Read full SJA statement.

Meanwhile, the Nalsar Hyderabad Student Bar Council (SBA) has released a statement backing the NUJS students:

The Student Bar Council, NALSAR strongly condemns the assault on the Six students of NUJS and stands in solidarity with the students of NUJS.

The Calcutta High Court issued a stay order against demolition of the Subhas Saravor Slums. On September 10, 2017, a mob of goons brutally assaulted six NUJS students who went to stop the demolition of the Subhas Saravor Slums in light of that stay order. Despite the stay order, the contractors demolished the slums, tore the stay order and assaulted NUJS students.

We reiterate the need for respecting and safeguarding the rights of all citizens of this country. We extend our sympathies and support not only to these students, but also to the arbitrarily displaced slum dwellers. Rights guaranteed to us cannot be restricted by displays of force or coercion.

We applaud the actions of the six students who, unfazed by odds, arose to defend the rights of the most vulnerable among us. We further condemn the breach of the High Court’s orders, and call for immediate sanctions against those responsible.

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Like +10 Object -3 NLU Stud 11 Sep 17, 20:00  interesting
I'm sure it was Ishwar Bhat who sent the goons.
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Like +14 Object -2 Darkseid 11 Sep 17, 20:15  interesting  top rated
You don't need the Vice Chancellor's response. As a student said, when he heard the incident first, he wanted to distance himself and the institution from it immediately, saying this is IDIA's matter and the university isn't responsible! How the head of an institution can feel like this about the students under his care I've no idea! Thankfully cooler heads prevailed after that and the Acting Regi helped out with doctors and police a bit. And this man brags about writing fat volumes on social transformation! Shame on him.
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Like +5 Object -1 Guest 12 Sep 17, 02:04
What do you mean?? The VC is obliged to give a statement. Never seen such a spineless chap with so much hatred for the students.
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Like +0 Object -0 Darkseid 12 Sep 17, 09:36
@Guest: No, I completely agree with you. I meant had he given a statement to Kian, doubtless he would have said these things only, since that's clearly his view. I agree with your assessment of him too.
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Like +7 Object -6 Right winger 12 Sep 17, 00:05  controversial
Sorry if I sound elitist but slums are a nuisance across urban India and these ppl should be sent back to villages/Bihar/Bangladesh or wherever they came from. Why can't IDEA file better PILs?
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Like +6 Object -3 Right winger 12 Sep 17, 02:06
Please also see this Telegraph report implicitly supporting the eviction

At Subhas Sarobar, two earthmovers moved in today to demolish hutments along the lake in a show of urgency that has been missing when it comes to removing hurdles in the way of several infrastructure projects in the city.

Contractor Gammon withdrew from the East-West Metro project after being fed up with the delay in removing settlers from the Duttabad site. Afcons, another company involved in the project, moved Calcutta High Court to highlight financial losses because land at another site had not been made available.
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Like +6 Object -2 2pac 12 Sep 17, 02:20
Pleas update the story. NUJS admin has mane a statement-- and a most shameful one which does not condemn the attack but instead condemns the media and disowns the students.

Kian I really hope you will go after shower Bhat now You have criticised Bimal Patel for far less.
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Like +5 Object -1 DISAPPOINTED 12 Sep 17, 11:26
The VC should be sacked.. he is a joker, cannot speak, his English is atrocious, [...].. he is the one who deserves to be publicly [...].
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 12 Sep 17, 16:13
Why is LI not condemning Bhat for this statement?
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Like +5 Object -4 Dear right winger 12 Sep 17, 12:24
It is irrelevant where the slum dwellers come from ( i suppose you think that all slum dwellers come only from villages and they do not have a right to live in the city.) In any case all that is irrelevant. The High Court had issued a stay order - everything else is secondary. The slum was not being cleared for any highly essential project - it was a mere beautification project for under 19 world cup. In any case you should feel some shame that instead of sympathising with injured students or feeling pity for people who have had their homes demolished ( or even the BLATANT violation of High Court order) , all you can do is think of slums being a nuisance.
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Like +10 Object -0 NUJS Alumni 12 Sep 17, 13:17  interesting
As an ex Alumni, I feel extremely proud of all the six students who had the courage and conviction to stand up for justice. Today, all six of you have indeed proved yourselves to be true"Social Engineers" as envisaged by our Founding Vice Chancellor - Dr N R Madhava Menon. Please be assured that, everyone to whom the University matters, are with you on this. Well done!
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Like +2 Object -2 MC Anon 12 Sep 17, 14:59
Kian/LI Team, grateful if you could please follow this story - and keep it as your headline. This is a genuine issue and one of far greater importance than law firm partner moves and promotions!!!
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Like +5 Object -1 Guest 12 Sep 17, 16:09
DISGRACEFUL that Bhat did not defend students and instead issued a press release indirectly condemning them.
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