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Nalsar backs NUJS-IDIA students, allegedly get violently assaulted for standing up against illegal demolition of local slum

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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