Monday, May 26, 2014
PUCL CONDEMNS DISRUPTION OF SEMINAR BY ABVP ACTIVISTS AT AN SINHA INSTITUTE, PATNA
In a statement People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Bihar State Unit issued after its weekly meeting held on May 25, 2014 expressed shock at the attack on a peaceful seminar being held in A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies (ANISS) on May 24 in Patna.
The seminar started on schedule and after the presidential remarks of Prof Santosh Kumar, Prof D.M. Diwakar, Director, ANISS completed his presentation, when Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists came in carrying flags, banners etc. and shouting slogans.
They ABVP activists forced their entry into the hall and in a quick movement broke the mike, pulled down banners and other things. Professor Diwakar tried to reason with them and even asked them to present their viewpoint before the audience. However, they were bent on breaking up the seminar. The police along with others present there pushed them out with difficulty. But they kept on creating disturbance from outside with provocative slogans.
Bihar PUCL condemns the attack unequivocally as it is an attack on the very idea of freedom guaranteed in our Constitution.
PUCL expects that the new government will ensure that citizens can enjoy their fundamental rights under the Constitution without fear, including freedom of speech and expression within the limits prescribed by the law of the land. It is the duty of the governments to keep in check elements encroaching upon such rights, whatever be their affiliation or ideology.
The seminar was to discuss the arrest and detention of Prof. Saibaba of Delhi University and the implications in terms of Human Rights. The opinions being expressed were an attempt to understand civil liberties better and to expand the idea of freedom guaranteed in our Constitution. Apparently the attempt to disturb the seminar was pre-planned, and meant to silence not only protests, but also dissent or even open discussion of any kind on such issues.
PUCL demands appropriate action by administration against those responsible for such acts of intimidation and vandalism.