NEW DELHI: The Committee for the Defence and Release of G N Saibaba condemned the arrest of scholar, social activist and University of Delhi Hany Babu by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Mumbai in connection with the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case on Thursday.
The committee demanded immediate and unconditional release of Hany Babu and all other activists who were arrested in an alleged connection with the case. It also demanded that ‘repressive measures’ be stopped and ‘draconian’ laws like UAPA be repealed.
“This arrest is in continuation with the state’s concerted efforts to intimidate and get rid of all dissenting voices, especially of those who are engaged in campaigns for social justice and equality,” said the statement. “Babu’s arrest is the latest in a series of arrests that bode ill for the future of Indian democracy. Like the 11 others who were arrested before him as accused in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case, Babu has also been accused of being a Maoist conspirator,” it said.
The committee said the term ‘urban-Naxal’ was most often deployed for academics, intellectuals, artists, writers, journalists and students. It was intended to discourage, dissuade and intimidate any impulse toward critical thinking and questioning, especially in academic community.