Petition: Arrest of Sunil Mandiwal – an attempt to suppress dissent

To: President of India

On 4th April 2010, the Delhi Police and the Special Intelligence Branch of Andhra Pradesh, arrested and detained Dr Sunil Mandiwal, an assistant professor of Hindi at Delhi University. Dr Mandiwal is a popular social and cultural activist besides being a committed teacher. The police’s excuse for picking up Dr Mandiwal and detaining him till late at night was that they wanted to interrogate him in connection with the Kobad Ghandy case. Dr Mandiwal has been informed by the police that he will continue to be interrogated indefinitely from the morning of 5th April. This arrest is in continuation with ongoing and sustained attempts by the state since the charge-sheet against Kobad Ghandy was filed, to criminalise and stigmatise intellectuals and activists. This arrest raises very profound and disturbing questions about the state of democracy in the country. We appear to be fast returning to an unstated Emergency and its reign of terror.

The University community strongly condemns such attempts to harass, victimise and criminalise members of its community. It strongly condemns the impunity with which the state is violating civil and democratic rights. We demand that the police stop abusing its powers and victimising members of the university community forthwith. We also demand that the Indian state immediately cease its vilification and persecution of its citizens and refrain from creating an Emergency-like situation.

Sincerely,

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