On 7th June fourteen protesters, of which seven have been identified to be Lucknow University students, were arrested for surrounding Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s cavalcade and sloganeering against his government in the state. Eleven out of fourteen were sent into judicial custody and three remained under personal board.
The incident has allegedly been termed a breach of security and the arrested students, booked under IPC sections 143, 147, 332, 341, 353, 504 and 506 according to official sources, have been denied bail considering that the offences were of serious nature.
The protests organized were against the recent caste-based violence in Saharanpur, the sudden increase in sexual violence against women and the alleged saffronization of educational institutions.
The question, however, is whether any dissenting voice against the state will be met with equal severity in terms of suppression. Should waving black flags and sloganeering make up for unbailable offences? Have our Universities reduced in status from think-tanks to propagandizing spaces? It is, indeed, worth pondering over.
(By: Esha Hussain)