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A Statement: From IIT Kharagpur Alumni on arrest of Sudha Bhardwaj and others

Statement demanding immediate release of writers, activists and human rights defenders

We, a group of alumni of IIT Kanpur and others as students, researchers, faculty, staff and other community members affiliated with the same institute strongly condemn the arrest of IIT Kanpur alumna Sudha Bharadwaj (Integrated MSc., Mathematics, 1979-1984) and other activists namely, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha and Varavara Rao, and the raiding of houses of Anand Teltumbde, K. Satyanarayana and Stan Swamy among many others. These arrests seem to be a mere sequel in an ongoing attempt to intimidate and arrest activists, eminent writers, professors, journalists, and human rights defenders around the country.

Sudha Bhardwaj has a public record of dedicating herself to the most marginalized through her work spanning more than thirty years. She finished her integrated bachelors and masters program of Dept of Mathematics, IIT Kanpur, in 1984. Already socially conscious as a student, by 1986 she had moved to Chhattisgarh working with a workers’ organization and trade union in the mining-industrial belt of central Chhattisgarh. It is here she found her calling as a trade unionist, and later, as a lawyer. We have compiled a short biography of her long journey at https://goo.gl/J6F9kK - it is clear that she dedicated herself entirely to the most vulnerable and powerless, working through the rights and frameworks guaranteed in the Indian constitution.

The invoking of UAPA against Sudha Bharadwaj which – given its unduly harsh provisions – would ensure long term incarceration and denial of bail, is a travesty of justice given her long record of legal and social work. The charges against her appear to be totally concocted: the contradictory nature of the public statements issued by the prosecution suggests as much, as does even a cursory glance at the prime evidence in the form of a letter allegedly written by her. It is also very curious that the dubious letters are entirely unaccompanied by any further evidence and were first leaked to selective media outlets, and the prosecution seems to be more prepared for a “media trial” than an actual one (see https://goo.gl/KtD55m, for example) for a summary of recent events in perspective).

With what appears to be a clear fabrication of facts, it looks like an attempt to malign her reputation and discredit her causes. The cases of other arrests seem to be similar.

In standing with the dispossessed and tirelessly bringing their issues within the ambit of the legal system, she has only strengthened the impulse of inclusive development that must be the bedrock of any modern democracy. It is no coincidence then, that a large number of public intellectuals, bureaucrats, academics, and members of the general public have come out in her support. To their voices we add ours, as members of an institution where this distinguished alumna spent her early years.

We, the undersigned, demand an immediate and unconditional release of Ms. Bhardwaj and all others who have been arrested. We also exhort an independent and impartial investigation by the National Human Rights Commission into the circumstances of their arrests.

Signatories
Kuver Sinha (MS 2001), Carl T Bush Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Oklahoma
Vaibhav Vaish (B. Tech 2004), Inspire Faculty, ISI Bangalore
Vaibhav Kumar (M. Tech 2013)
Dr. V N Sharma (M. Tech 1978)
Giriraj Kishore, Ex-Registrar, IITK
Sunil Sahasrabudhey (Student 1981), Vidya Ashram, Varanasi
Amit Singh (B. Tech 2005), Adjunct Faculty, Dept of Mechanics, Virginia Tech
Ashok Gupta (B. Tech 1972), Emeritus Professor. Ohio University
Sushil Handa (B. Tech 1966)
Rajendra Sahai (B. Tech 1966) Member, Institute for Critical Study of Society, Oakland, California
Vivek Kr. Mehta (M.Tech 2005, PhD 2013), Assistant Professor, Tezpur University, Assam
Arun Karthik B. (MBA 2010)
Himanshu Srivastava (B. Tech 2004), PhD Student, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education
Deepankar Basu (B. Tech 1994), Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Vikas Dubey, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur, 2013-Present
S. Pradeep Kumar, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur
Dheeraj Singh (B. Tech 2004)
Manu Agrawal (MBA 2011)
Akshaya Kumar (B. Tech 2003)
Aravind Muthusamy (M. Des 2010)
Rahul Varman, Professor, IIT Kanpur
Suchitra Mathur, Faculty, IIT Kanpur
Abha Sur (PhD student from 1973-75), Faculty, Program in Science, Technology and Society, MIT, USA
Jaya Jha (B. Tech 2004)
Sandeep Pandey (Visiting Faculty, 1992-93 (3 Semesters)),  Social Activist, Visiting Professor, IIM Ahmedabad & NALSAR, Hyderabad
Preeti Sood (B. Tech 2003)
Atif Hussain (B. Tech)
George Kandathil (M. Tech)
Vijai Kumar (Alumnus)
Paul Mathew, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur, 2013-Present
V Giridhar (MBA 2004)
Binoy  (PhD 2012)
Rhythm Grover, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur, 2014-Present
Arvind (Alumnus), Professor, IISER Mohali
Sanil. V (PhD 1995), Faculty, IIT Delhi
Aman Gupta (B. Tech 2015)
Manu Kanchan, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur
Akshay Bajaj,  MSR Student, IIT Kanpur
Mohini Mullick, Retired professor, IIT Kanpur
Sakthivel T. (PhD 2017)
Bharat Bhushan, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur
Nirmali Goswami (PhD 2011), Faculty, Tezpur University, Assam
Harish Karnick (M. Tech 1977, PhD 1984), Emeritus Fellow, IIT Kanpur
Kumari Jahnavi (B. Tech 2006)
Ankit Nigam (MBA 2011)
Shaurya Aarav (B. Tech), Graduate Student, Princeton University
Gaurav Bajpai (B. Tech 2005)
Siddhartha Chaudhuri (B. Tech 2005), Assistant Professor, IIT Bombay
Neelesh Kumar (B. Tech 2015)
Irfan Qayoom, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur, 2015-Present
Shalini Kumar (B. Tech 2003)
Gaganjot, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur, 2015-Present
Mohd Usman, Doctoral Scholar, IIT Kanpur
Shikha Chauhan (B. Tech 2004)
Shobha Madan (1975-1980), Alumna, Retired Faculty, IIT Kanpur
Kaushika Draavid, Research Scholar, 2013-Present
NISHANT (B. Tech, M. Tech 2011), Doctoral Student, IIT Delhi
G.V. Ravindra (Integrated M.Sc 1995), U Missouri, St. Louis
Bhavna Bhalla (PhD 2010)
Anjani Kumar, Alumnus
Ayush Mukherjee, Alumnus 2018
Sambit (B. Tech 2013)
Ankur Dutt      (B. Tech 2002)
Amit Tripathi (B. Tech  2003), IIT Hyderabad
Vivek Kushwaha, Alumnus   
Divyanshu Patel          (Btech/ChE/2017)      
Surya Kant, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur            ,2015-Present
Ankit Tripathi (B. Tech 2015)
Gautam P S     (B. Tech 2016)           
Vipul Goyal, Alumnus, IIT K
Gopal Raghavan          (B. Tech 1982)
Vishv Malhotra (M Tech(EEE, 1976), PhD(1981)), Faculty (CSE)  Retired
Manish Mishra (B. Tech 2004), Assistant Professor, IISER Pune
J. Ranjith, Sr. Project Associate (Cognitive Science), IIT Kanpur
Manish Gautam (B. Tech), Engineer at Arcadis
Sumantran Ray,           Ph.D. Scholar, IIT KANPUR
Parth Vaswani (B. Tech 2016)
Amman Madan (Ex-faculty, IIT Kanpur), Azim Premji University, Bengaluru
Mini Chandran, Professor, IIT Kanpur
Srinivas Budaraju (B.Tech 1982), Chemical Engineer, USA
Siddharth Ramachandran        (B.Tech 1987-1991), Professor, Boston University
Sambuddha Sen          (M.Sc 2013), PhD Student, The Ohio State University
Saurabh Anand Prakash, Alumnus    
Rakesh, Alumnus       
Kapil Hari Paranjape   (MS 5yr Mathematics 1977-82), IISER Mohali
Archak Purkayastha (Alumnus), ICTS Visiting Fellow
Ketan Bagga (MBA, 2015) Amazon
Madhur khanna (M. Tech 2001)
Sudeshna Sinha           (Int MSc 1980-1985), IISER Mohali
Bhaswati (Ganguly) Laha (M.Sc. Integrated 1985)
Ramakrishna Majumder (MBA 2014), Infosys, Bangalore
Akshat Dinkar Tiwari (Alumnus),      working at Infosys
Sandeep Shukla,         Professor of Computer Science, IITK
Lokesh Jain     (Alumnus, 2010-2015)
Rahul Pandey (B. Tech), Entrepreneur and Visiting faculty with IIM Lucknow
Shashi Kuppa (B. Tech, 1985), U.S. DOT
Ragavendiran, PhD Student, IIT Kanpur
Ronnie Sebastian, IIT Bombay
Prateek            (B.Tech 2016), Student
Sibnath Mazumdar (Alumnus), Retired
A P Shukla, Retired Faculty, IIT Kanpur
Sandeep           Agarwal (B. Tech 1983)
Seema Narain (Ph.D. 2010 & M Tech. 2002)
Sarvendra Yadav         (PhD 2013), Faculty, Dr. Harisingh Gour University Sagar (M.P.)
Abhaya Agarwal         (B.Tech. 2003)          
Sangharsh Aglave (BT/CS/2015),      Masters Student at Georgia Institute of Technology
Nitish Pant, B. Tech Student, IIT Kanpur, 2015-present
Shamim Akhter (MBA (IME) 2007) 
Srivani Narra (B.Tech 2005)
Anurag Sahay (BS-MS Dual, 2011-2016)
Dr C B Choudhary (M.Tech.  & Ph.D. Met Engg, 1966-75), National Treasurer, Samajwadi Jan parishad, A registered Political Party   
Utpal Lahiri     (B. Tech 1984), Faculty, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
Praval Kumar Singh   (Student 1966-, Roll No 66160) Retired engineer Currently at Varanasi
Abhishek Ghosh         , PhD Scholar, IIT Kanpur, 2013-Present
Abhinav Manchanda   (B. Tech, Aerospace, 2006), Entrepreneur     
Santosh Anand (B.Tech, 98331)
Yogish Holla (MSc Mathematics (int) , 1994), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai  
Arun Kumar (B. Tech., EE, 1975),  Chief Technical Officer, Engg, Inc.      
Santhosh Kumar T, M. Tech student at IIT Kanpur, Hall 11, 2017-Present
Ashutosh Gupta          (B. Tech 2004), Asscoiate Professor IIT Bombay     
Ajeeta Nyola , Alumna, Batch of 2005
Kanish Manuja (B. Tech - M. Tech 2014), Software Engineer Microsoft    
ABHIJIT MITRA (Alumnus 1971-1978), Professor, IIIT Hyderabad          
K. S. Gandhi, Faculty of IIT Kanpur (1971-86)
Sujata Kar (Alumni), IIT Roorkee
Prem Anand Murugan, PhD student. IIT Kanpur
Manoj kumar, Alumnus 2010-2014
Jishnu Biswas (MSc Integrated 1984-89), Indian Statistical Institute Bangalore Center     
Prathmesh Kant (Alumnus), co-founder and CEO Aggois
Sumati Surya (Msc, IIT Kanpur), Raman Research Institute
Sanjib Sabhapandit (Alumnus) RRI Bangalore         
Rajat Mittal, Faculty at IIT Kanpur
Dheerendra Tiwari (BT-MT dual degree Y6), VLSI Engineer
Sankalp Tiwari (Dual degree (2008-2013)), PhD (2014-ongoing), IIT Kanpur
Shahid Anwar, Batch of 75
Kalyan Banerjee          , Retired Physics Faculty of IIT Kanpur
Drupad Ram (B. Tech 1975, M. Tech 1978), Social worker and human rights activist.
Archisman Ghosh (Msc-I/PHY/2001-2006), Nikhef - National Institute of Subatomic Physics 

Sep 6, 2018