The Delhi University's English Department students on Wednesday staged a protest against a raid by the Pune Police at varsity professor Hany Babu's house in connection with the 2017 Elgaar Parishad case for alleged Maoist links.
The Pune Police had on Tuesday searched 45-year-old Babu's house in Sector 78 of Noida, adjoining the national capital.
"These surprise searches without warrants are illegal and amount to extreme harassment. It is incumbent upon legal institutions to oppose such arbitrary raids and prevent the misuse of inherently dangerous laws such as the UAPA," a student who took part in the protest, Vijay Alghar, said.
The Pune Police had in the past arrested five human rights activists. It had also tried to arrest other human rights activists but was prevented from doing so after the Supreme Court stepped in, he added.
Babu, who has been teaching at the DU's English Department for close to a decade, had alleged on Tuesday that the police did not have a search warrant and they seized the phones of his daughter and wife, not allowing them to communicate with their friends.
He had also alleged that the police took away laptops containing his research.
Speaking about Babu, another student said, "He taught us to care about our language rights. We demand that the Indian state accord him the dignity to live with his inalienable right as a citizen of India... We offer our support and solidarity to our professor."
One of Babu's former students expressed shock at the professor's "harassment".
"Given how much Hany Babu cares for language equality and the inalienable right of every language in the Union of India to advance, it is indeed shocking that the Indian state has harassed such an individual," she said.
"We feel the Indian state should recognise the importance of the work that he does for the creation of an equitable society as both an academic and an activist," she said.
"If any student, or a teacher for that matter, faced any form of discrimination, they knew that Hany Babu's door was always open for them. As students we did not merely learn from him as a teacher, but were also inspired by his political work," she added.
The Elgaar conclave was held at historic Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017, ahead of the 200th anniversary of the battle of Koregaon Bhima.
According to police, speeches made at the conclave aggravated the caste violence around Koregaon Bhima village in the district on January 1, 2018, in which one person was killed and several others were injured. Police have so far arrested nine people in the case.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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