A DAY after a research scholar of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, was attacked for being associated with a beef fest on campus, over 100 students and research scholars of IIT Bombay came out in protest on Wednesday evening.
A peaceful march was held within the campus to condemn the increasing “Hindutva vigilantism” on IIT campuses. Students said that the protest came in the wake of recent attacks at two IITs.
On Tuesday, Sooraj, a PhD scholar from IIT-M, was allegedly attacked by a group of students affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. The scholar received serious injuries to his eyes after he was allegedly thrashed by around six fellow students for participating in a beef fest. The fest was a part of the ongoing nationwide protests against restriction on cattle trade by the central government.
Earlier, on May 27, students of IIT-BHU and BHU, who were peacefully protesting against the brutal attack on Dalits in Saharanpur during CM Adityanath’s visit, were allegedly attacked by the police.
The student community at IIT-B condemned the two incidents and urged more students to speak out against such attacks on campuses.
“These two incidents show us that IITs are quite unbecoming of democratic academic spaces. These are not just law and order problems but have social and political dimensions. We appeal to academic community of IIT-B to speak up for strict action against the culprits, be it students or the police. We demand a thriving academic atmosphere where people would be free to organize and register forms of protest in a democratic manner. We invoke the students to be alert and organised to defend our rights to speak up against suppression,” read a statement by the students.
The students holding banners that said “in solidarity with IIT Madras” marched in silence from Hostel 12 to the School of Management following which they raised slogans against “hooliganism on campus”. A couple of faculty members, too, were seen at the rally.