In DepthSCIENCE AND POLITICS

Campus attack and police violence alarm Indian academics

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Science  24 Jan 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6476, pp. 349-350
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6476.349

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Summary

A controversial citizenship bill that became law on 12 January has led many in India's scientific establishment, traditionally apolitical, to speak out. But the response has been fierce. In December 2019, police brutally suppressed protests at two predominantly Muslim universities, and on 5 January, masked intruders armed with iron rods, stones, and sticks beat and terrorized students and teachers at Jawaharlal Nehru University, a liberal bastion where students were on strike against the bill and a steep hike in student fees. For many academics, the assault, apparently by Hindu nationalists, felt like an attack on freedom of speech and democracy itself.

  • * Sanjay Kumar is a science journalist in New Delhi.

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