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Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Stanford, Tufts and other US university student & alumni STATEMENT ON POLICE BRUTALITY ON UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES

Statement Condemning Recent Police Brutality in Indian Universities 

Statement Condemning Recent Police Brutality in Indian Universities
Photo Bharat S Tiwari

We, students, alumni and the wider community, at universities across the United States of America, condemn the brutal police violence unleashed against students at Jamia Millia Islamia University and at Aligarh Muslim University on December 15, 2019 as a gross violation of human rights under the Constitution of India and International Human Rights Law. We express full solidarity with students across universities in India who are peacefully protesting against the recent passing of the unconstitutional and discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act. 

The right to protest is a cornerstone of a constitutional democracy and is safeguarded as a fundamental right under Articles 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(b) of the Constitution of India. The right of all people to express their ideas and opinions through the medium of protest is also guaranteed through a number of core international human rights provisions, including the right to free expression under Article 19 of the ICCPR, which has been ratified by India.

Reports and accounts by journalists, students, lawyers, and activists (including credible information shared online) reveal horrific and excessive use of force by police and paramilitary against students. Any use of force by law enforcement must be within the strict confines of the principles of legality, legitimacy, necessity and proportionality under International Human Rights Law.

By every account, it appears that police and paramilitary, both at Jamia Milia Islamia University, and at Aligarh Muslim University, have used violence and pursued unlawful and reckless tactics against student protestors in violation of protections under the Constitution of India and International Human Rights law. The entry of police and paramilitary into University premises, indiscriminate attacks within the premises of the University including releasing tear gas in libraries, and brutal use of force against civilians is a blatant violation of the law and can only shock the conscience of any democratic society. Students have narrated that police rampaged through hostels and molested women on these campuses. Students from Jamia Milia Islamia were arbitrarily detained at police stations, and were denied their constitutional right to access legal representation. These incidents of violence indicate complete negation of every norm that guide the functioning of the police in a democratic society governed by the rule of law. Seen further in the light of the fact that most victims of this brutality were Muslim, these incidents stand out as shocking instantiations of targeted violence against a minority group.

We also condemn the use of violence against protestors in Assam where five people have died, including two minor boys who were shot by the police. This combined with the unlawful denial of access to the internet in the state, has completely blocked news reports of events on the ground, including the ability of the protestors to represent their demands and report unlawful police action.

We are deeply concerned about the statement of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India terming these protests as ‘riots’ and characterising this situation as simply one for the police to handle as a law and order problem, without recognising the violation of the rights of protestors, and especially the degree of violence unleashed on them.

We realize that our condemnation in this form can offer little succour to our fellow students who had to face the violence, and neither does it meaningfully resist the onslaught against constitutional norms. Nevertheless, in deep solidarity with our fellow students;

We demand cessation of violence by the police and their complete withdrawal from the university premises.
We demand an immediate, independent, and robust investigation into the abuse of power by the Delhi Police, Uttar Pradesh Police, and the Central Reserve Police Force.
We demand that student protestors be allowed to continue to protest peacefully in exercise of their fundamental rights under the Indian Constitution without any threat of use of force by the police or other law enforcement agencies.
We call upon officers of the Indian Police and Administrative Services to fulfill their duty to uphold the Constitution of India, and to resist any political demand to act in abuse of the powers that have been conferred upon them; and, to ensure police forces under their command act strictly in accordance with the constitutional, legal and ethical constraints that bind them.
We call on the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah, to immediately take these necessary steps to curb police brutality, or resign.

This statement can be signed by clicking the link here: https://forms.gle/rY9DywneBo9PbsGGA

Signed by:

  1. Sannoy Das Harvard Law School
  2. Rupali Samuel Harvard Law School
  3. Madhulika Srikumar Harvard Law School
  4. Chinmay Kanojia Columbia Law School
  5. Arvind Abraham Harvard Law School
  6. Maithilli Pai Harvard Law School
  7. Pavani Nagara Bhat Harvard Law School
  8. Bahuli Sharma Harvard Law School
  9. Govind Tharayil Manoharan Harvard Law School
  10. Varun Gupta Harvard Kennedy School
  11. Kaveri Iychettira Harvard University
  12. Vikram Srinivas N/A
  13. Bedavyasa Mohanty University of Michigan
  14. Sasha Harvard Kennedy School
  15. Sameeksha Khare Columbia University
  16. Amay SIPA
  17. Sanjana Rajgarhia Harvard University
  18. Shruti Sharma Columbia University, SIPA
  19. Jhalak Mrignayani Kakkar Harvard Law School
  20. Anurag Bhaskar Harvard Law School
  21. Disha Chaudhari Harvard Law School
  22. Kabir Nanda Harvard University
  23. Pankti Dalal Columbia- SIPA
  24. Noopur Raval University of California Irvine
  25. Mohan Pillai University of Cincinnati
  26. Sanya Batra Columbia University
  27. Deepika Kalra Columbia University
  28. Pratiti Deb University of Chicago
  29. Nayantara Columbia University
  30. Meghna arora Maitreyi college
  31. Raksha Thakur NA
  32. Fariha Wasti Columbia-SIPA
  33. Asha EFL University
  34. Richa Mukerjee Columbia University
  35. Nikhil Mandalaparthy University of Chicago
  36. Devashish Godbole Georgetown University Law Center
  37. Shadan Khan Columbia University
  38. Dipshikha Ghosh Columbia University
  39. Laboni Bhattacharya University of Southern California
  40. Kritika University of Southern California
  41. Shrabastee Banerjee Boston University
  42. Madalsa Singh Stanford University
  43. Jacob Ritchie Stanford University
  44. Abhishek Bhattacharyya University of Chicago
  45. Tarang Tripathi University of California, San Diego
  46. Grace Gupta Chapman University
  47. Shubham Shivang University of Chicago
  48. Sunaina Pamudurthy Harvard Kennedy School
  49. Madhav Malhotra University of Victoria
  50. Damini Mohan Columbia University
  51. Nishaat Mukadam Brandeis University
  52. Jatin Tripathi Georgetown Law
  53. Arpita Sarker Pennsylvania State University
  54. Ritika Sinha Columbia Law School
  55. Ashika Pratt Institute
  56. Hiba Hasan Harvard Kennedy School
  57. Shreyas Gadgin Matha Harvard Kennedy School
  58. Anasua Chatterjee Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
  59. Pallavi Khare Harvard Kennedy School
  60. Kalyani Raut Institute of Development Studies
  61. Shruti Kedia School of international and public affairs
  62. Geeti Patwal SIPA
  63. Max Virupaksha Katner Georgetown Law Center
  64. Bindu Natesha Doddahatti University of Pennsylvania
  65. Avantika Thakur Columbia University
  66. Jackson Miller Harvard Kennedy School
  67. Itamar University of Chicago
  68. Samantha Happ Columbia University
  69. Radhika Saxena University of Pennsylvania
  70. Valerie Snow University of Pennsylvania Law School
  71. Madison Gray Penn Law
  72. Bhumika Chauhan New York University
  73. Paresh Chandra Princeton University
  74. Shruti Sriram Columbia University
  75. Joseph The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  76. Sharmin Hossain Equality Labs
  77. Fletcher Progressive Initiative Fletcher School, Tufts University
  78. Becca Lynch University of Pennsylvania Law School
  79. Madhuri Mukherjee Fletcher School, Tufts University
  80. Amrita Vasudevan Yale Law School
  81. Caitlyn Passaretti Columbia University
  82. Inayat Sabhikhi Harvard Kennedy School
  83. Sophie Dover Harvard Kennedy School
  84. Shashank Reddy The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  85. Samer Hjouj Harvard Kennedy School
  86. Chhavi Kotwani Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
  87. Bhargav Krishna Harvard University
  88. Sindhura Vanamamalai Sowmithri Pratt Institute
  89. Vinay Nagaraju Harvard Ash Center for Democratic Governance
  90. Taha Khan Harvard University
  91. Chinmayi Arun Yale Law School
  92. Pratyusha Govindaraju Harvard University
  93. Pratyasha Acharya Harvard
  94. Ritwika Sen Northwestern University (Kellogg)
  95. Kinshuk Kumar Harvard University
  96. Aarushi Prabhakar Columbia University
  97. Oviya Govindan UC Irvine
  98. Hannah Furstenberg-Beckman Harvard University
  99. Siddhant Agarwal Kellogg/Northwestern University
  100. Sanjukta Poddar University of Chicago
  101. Varada University of Chicago
  102. Raghav Bikhchandani University of Chicago
  103. Devleena Chatterji University of Minnesota
  104. Amita Varma Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health
  105. Ishani Tikku University of Chicago
  106. Pranjal Chandra University of Chicago- Harris School of Public Policy
  107. Nilanjana Bhattacharya University of Chicago
  108. Thaenpaavai kannan Tufts University, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  109. Jyoti Gupta Harvard Kennedy School
  110. Neil M Tufts University, The Fletcher School
  111. Miriam Cherayil Mount Holyoke College
  112. Aparna Raman Boston University
  113. Akshara Ravishankar University of Chicago
  114. Siddarth Shrikanth Harvard Kennedy School
  115. Tanima University of Chicago
  116. Nuvodita Singh SIPA, Columbia University
  117. John Santoro University of Pennsylvania Law School
  118. Yajnaseni Chakraborti Temple University, Philadelphia
  119. Nick Tackes Columbia University
  120. Saniya Ali Columbia University
  121. Pritha Chatterjee Harvard University
  122. Diana Nabulsi Columbia University - SIPA
  123. Alisha Miranda Harvard Graduate School of Education
  124. Arushi Mittal Harvard Graduate School of Education
  125. Preksha Singh Harvard Education School
  126. Sayori Ghoshal Columbia University
  127. Debjani Dutta University of Southern California
  128. Prerna Munoth Harvard Graduate School Education
  129. Ian Kumekawa Harvard University
  130. Gaurav C Garg New York University
  131. Balaji Alwar Harvard University
  132. Upasana Dutta University of Chicago
  133. Aniesh Chawla Purdue University West Lafayette
  134. Srinath Purdue University
  135. Madhu Kushwaha University of Maryland
  136. Sneha Lamba Johns Hopkins University
  137. Rabea Eghbariah Harvard Law School
  138. Alex Khoury Harvard University
  139. Shaiba Rather Harvard Law School
  140. Debak Das Cornell University
  141. Majid Waheed Harvard Law School
  142. Earu University of Rochester
  143. Sarah Schwartz Harvard Law School
  144. Darshana Mini University of Southern California
  145. Swapna Gopinath University of Rochester
  146. Disha Verma Harvard Law School
  147. Uponita Mukherjee Columbia University
  148. Maithili Parikh Harvard Law School
  149. Sarandha Jain Columbia University
  150. Aruna Sankaranarayanan Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  151. Snigdha Shahi Harvard Kennedy School
  152. Debashree Mukherjee Columbia University
  153. Poornima Rajeshwar Harvard Kennedy School
  154. Aparna Subramanian New York University
  155. Gayas Eapen North Carolina State University
  156. Amanat Boparai Harvard Kennedy School
  157. Sayantani Mukherjee Columbia University
  158. Kriti Bhardwaj University of Chicago
  159. Disha Chaudhari Harvard Law School
  160. Pranay Tarafdar Florida State University
  161. Ragini Jha University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  162. Mike Miccioli Harvard University
  163. Piper Winkler Harvard University
  164. Nida Rais Harvard Law School
  165. Vatsala Sharma Harvard Graduate School of Education
  167. Ruy Martinez Harvard University
  168. Jenisha Shrestha Columbia University
  169. Georges Clement Harvard Kennedy School
  170. Nafisa Adama Harvard Law School
  171. Anindya Chanda Florida State University
  172. Yanitra Kumaraguru Harvard Law School
  173. Ahmed Farooq Harvard Law School
  174. Mohammad Raza Haider University of Cambridge
  175. Luna Borges Harvard Law School (LLM' 19) and University of Brasília, Brazil
  176. Jaideep Pandey University of Michigan
  177. Emily Morrow Harvard Law School
  178. Nour Nicolas Harvard Law School
  179. Daniella Simari Columbia University
  180. Enakshi Saha University of Chicago
  181. Josiah Senu Harvard Law School
  182. Rahul Ghosal North Carolina State University
  183. Pongnut Thanaboonchai Harvard Law School
  184. Bobbi Murphy Harvard Law School
  185. Raven Graf Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  186. Kirsten Valania University of Pennsylvania Law School
  187. Farah Bougarras Harvard University
  188. Rosemary Harvard Law School
  189. Aislinn Kelly-Lyth Harvard Law School
  190. Kritika Anand Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health
  191. Vatsal Vasudev Harvard Law School 
  192. Ishita Dharap School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  193. Vandinika Shukla Harvard Kennedy School
  194. René Sharanya Verma New York University
  195. Shreya Prakash Harvard Graduate School of Education
  196. Anagha Ingole Columbia University
  197. Pratik Ranjan Das Columbia Law School
  198. Poorvi Vijay Harvard Business School
  199. Niharika Sanyal Harvard Graduate School of Education
  200. Padmini Boruah University of San Diego
  201. Prineeta Kulkarni Harvard Business School
  202. Jayshree The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  203. Zayba Abdulla Harvard Kennedy School
  204. Nivedita Mukhija Columbia Law School
  205. Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi Barnard College, Columbia University
  206. Vaibhav Yadav Harvard Business School
  207. Burjis Godrej Harvard Business School
  208. Desmond Chu Harvard Law School
  209. Sowmya Dechamma CUNY
  210. Jonathan Lesser Columbia University
  211. Sanjam Ahluwalia Northern Arizona University
  212. Jheel Manish Doshi None
  213. Asif Shaikh Texas A and M University College Station
  214. Shrey Kapoor Harvard Business School
  215. Aalok Thakkar University of Pennsylvania
  216. Shivangi Bishnoi Paris School of Economics
  217. Hanan Hassan El-Kathiri Harvard Law School
  218. Kriti Jha Stanford Law School
  219. Arisha Salman Columbia University
  220. Majd Harvard Kennedy School
  221. Avi Anshika Harvard Graduate School of Education
  222. Jeremiah C Hay Kennedy school
  223. Mattias Rättzén Harvard Law School
  224. Niyas Moidu Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
  225. Aasma John Columbia University
  226. Ankush Bhuyan Columbia University
  227. Eklovya Jain University of Pennsylvania
  228. Riazul Hoque Columbia University
  229. Sarah Levenstam University of Chicago
  230. Ritika Popli Ohio University
  231. Parnika Praleya University of Chicago
  232. Hiresh Choudhary Columbia Law School
  233. Anushka Siddiqui Harvard Kennedy School
  234. Abhijith Asok Harvard University, Microsoft
  235. Teja Vemuri The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
  236. Prakriti Mukerjee University of Colorado-Boulder
  237. Mansi Bhatt University of Michigan
  238. Maria Geigel Harvard Law School
  239. Sanjna Surya UPenn School of Medicine
  240. Eren Sozuer Istanbul University, Harvard Law School (LLM '19)
  241. Aratrika Mustafi Columbia University
  242. Sakshi Kumar Harvard Kennedy School
  243. Rwiti Roy Florida State University
  244. Tilottama Dey Purdue University
  245. Pranay Shetty Columbia Business School
  246. Mohitrajhu Lingan Kumaraian University of Pennsylvania
  247. Ishan Santra Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
  248. Prakrati Thakur University of Illinois
  249. Tanay Jaipuria Harvard Business School
  250. Nivedita Venkateish Columbia Business School
  251. Tushar Misra University of California Berkeley
  252. Ishita Dharap School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  253. Vandinika Shukla Harvard Kennedy School
  254. Shreya Prakash Harvard Graduate School of Education
  255. Prashanth V Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  256. Martin Montenegro Harvard Kennedy School
  257. Prashanth V MIT Cambridge
  258. Palash Biswas University of Michigan
  259. Deep Rao Palepu Columbia Law School
  260. Andrea Neyra Nazarrett _
  261. Abhishek Patil University of Pennsylvania
  262. Adam Sherman Harvard Kennedy School
  263. Daniel O'Farrill Cortes Harvard Law School
  264. Shweta Chopra University of Pennsylvania
  265. Mayank Manuja MIT
  266. Laboni Bhattacharya University of Southern California
  267. Nirmita Mehra IIITD
  268. Namya Mahajan Harvard Business School
  269. Amshuly Chandran Stanford Law
  270. Chetkar Jha University of Pennsylvania
  271. Ananya Sen Carnegie Mellon University
  272. Sohini Chattopadhyay Columbia University
  273. Elisa Harrold Cambridge University
  274. Michael Anthony Turcios University of Southern California
  275. Michael Stellitano ramapo college
  276. Pegah Ebrahimi University of Michigan
  277. Udit Ranjan University of Minnesota
  278. Soumya Sinha The University of Chicago
  279. Dhruv Gupta University of Oxford
  280. Ravindra Saxena University of Pennsylvania
  281. Aanchal Sharma University of Pennsylvania
  282. Amruthesh Thirumalaiswamy University of Pennsylvania
  283. Sanjay Joshi Northern Arizona University
  284. Tom Jose University of Pennsylvania
  285. Pavneet Kaur Narang Northeastern University, Boston
  286. Damini Sharma University of Chicago
  287. Tanvi Grover Carnegie Mellon University
  288. Ruchi Mahadeshwar Brown University
  289. Roshan Zubair Mohammad University of Connecticut
  290. Oviya M Govindan UC Irvine
  291. Blanka Soulava Harvard Kennedy School
  292. Ahona Palchoudhuri Brown University
  293. Arighna Gupta University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  294. Shohini Kundu University of Chicago
  295. Nidhaanjit Jain University of Chicago
  296. Smit Chitre Harvard University
  297. Kritika Vohra Harvard Law School
  298. Anna Marchenko UC Berkeley
  299. Soham Parikh University of Pennsylvania
  300. Prerna Srigyan UC Irvine
  301. Domenic Powell University of Pennsylvania Law School
  302. Sinjini Chatterjee University of California, Riverside
  303. Andrew Loh Harvard University
  304. Aksha Nanavati New York University
  305. Soumya Sankar University of Wisconsin-Madison
  306. Sasmira Matta University of Pennsylvania
  307. Preksha Naik California Institute of Technology
  308. Cathy GCC
  309. Sabareesh Nikhil Chinta Harvard Business School
  310. Sai Sathvik Nuthalapati Columbia university
  311. Asheley Siewnarine Harvard Kennedy School
  312. Suraj Nair UC Berkeley
  313. Jenisha Borah University of Chicago
  314. Shivam Salhotra Columbia University
  315. Sarika Mendu Harvard Business School
  316. Chelsea Columbia University
  317. Radhika Ghosal Harvard University
  318. Noopur Sen Harvard University
  319. Harvard South Asian Law Students Association Harvard Law School
  320. Ravi Teja Konkimalla University of Pennsylvania
  321. Aaron Mukerjee Harvard Law School
  322. Bansal Shah Texas A&M University
  323. Blanka Soulava HKS
  324. Ariel Ashtamker Harvard Law School
  325. Julia Anderson Harvard Kennedy School
  326. Isha Jain Harvard Law School
  327. Carly Margolis Harvard Law School
  328. Kyle Yoder Harvard Kennedy School
  329. Cynthia Ahmed Harvard Law School
  330. Nathan Lobel Harvard Law School
  331. Aditi Shah Harvard Law School
  332. Mackenzie Bouverat Harvard Law School
  333. Mohd Raghibul Haque Michigan State University
  334. Andrew Keefe Harvard Law School
  335. Priya Kamath Harvard Law School
  336. Kripa Dongol University of Colorado Boulder
  337. Suman Barua Harvard Graduate School of Education
  338. Ankita Gulati Columbia Law School
  339. Shaunna Rodrigues MESAAS, Columbia University
  340. Stuti Gupta The University of Iowa
  341. Aditi Sharma Boston University
  342. asmita aasaavari Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut
  343. Miguel Casillas Harvard Law School
  344. Siddhant Shandilya Columbia University
  345. Maura Hallisey University of Pennsylvania Law School
  346. Mallika Saharia Harvard Business School
  347. Jayanti Bhatia Harvard Graduate School of Education
  348. Mili Sanwalka Brown University
  349. Gilad Abiri Yale Law School/NYU Law
  350. Jaylia Yan Harvard Law and Kennedy School
  351. Smriti Iyer Harvard Kennedy School
  352. Kshitij Chaudhary Harvard Business School
  353. Preeti Pratishruti Dash Harvard Law School
  354. Nikhil Chacko University of California, Berkeley
  355. Zamzam Mohammed Harvard Law School
  356. Hima Bindu Bhardwaj Columbia University in the city of New York
  357. Srivastav Ranganathan Harvard University
  358. Pritika Gupta Columbia Business School
  359. Zeeshan Ahmad Carnegie Mellon University
  360. Ankur Mallick Carnegie Mellon University
  361. Nuwan Dias Harvard Law School
  362. Divya Chandramouli Harvard University
  363. Shreya Jain Harvard Law school
  364. Viraj Sawant University of California, Los Angeles
  365. Isha sengupta University of Pennsylvania
  366. Muhammed Tahir Patel Purdue University
  367. Pankti Harvard Law School
  368. Tejas Srinivasan Carnegie Mellon University
  369. Adi Raghunathan Harvard Business School
  370. Siddhant Talwar Tufts University
  371. Vasudha Sharma Harvard Law School
  372. Sumedh Kiran Deshpande Yale School of Management
  373. Hemanth Bharatha Chakravarthy Harvard College
  374. Neeraja Balakrishnan Harvard Law School
  375. Keerthana Medarametla Harvard Law School
  376. Pranav Mittal Harvard Law School
  377. Sneha Shenoi Harvard Law School
  378. Pankti Harvard Law school
  379. Rahul Bhatnagar University of Pennsylvania
  380. Aviroop Sengupta Columbia University
  381. Senjuti Mallick Tufts University
  382. Chitra Ram Indiana University Law
  383. Karan Tyagi Harvard University
  384. Antara Chakrabarti Columbia University
  385. Charles Hobbs Harvard Law School
  386. Shantanu Nevrekar Stanford University
  387. Shravya Mallavarapu Harvard University
  388. Soujanya Ganig Harvard University Graduate School of Education
  389. Kumar Raja HBS
  390. Sanchari Sen Purdue University
  391. Manvi Aggarwal University of Pennsylvania
  392. Shefali Agarwal The New School
  393. Syed Saad Ahmed University of Pennsylvania
  394. Sayan Pramanik The Wharton School
  395. Ishaa Baig Harvard Business school
  396. Shompa Choudhury Wharton
  397. Stephen Ipe Varghese The Wharton School (U. Penn)
  398. Varsha Bhattacharya Harvard Law School

(receieved via email)