Published: 26th November 2019
Govt has set up intelligence units to track protestors: Police tell JNUSU's Satish Chandra Yadav, family questioned
The officials who claimed to be from the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) set up by the state government to keep track of people who have been "raising their voices" against the authorities
Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union General Secretary Satish Chandra Yadav's family members back home in Uttar Pradesh were allegedly questioned about his activities and family details were documented on November 25. The officials who claimed to be from the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) set up by the state government to keep track of people who have been "raising their voices" against the authorities.
Satish hails from Mahuawa village in Maharajganj district, not very far from Gorakhpur, UP CM Yogi Adityanath's home ground and has been in hostels for almost 15 years now. "Two officers in plain clothes paid my family a visit in the morning and bombarded them with a plethora of questions — from where I study and what I was doing to where my sisters got married. My parents and my sister told them that I was fighting for a just cause and for people like us who come from rural low-income households. They also told my family that they would like to be updated about what I was doing in Delhi from time to time and left a number with them. But they did not reveal their identity," said Satish.
Worried about his family and confused about the officers' identity, Satish called the number. "They were reluctant to tell me who they were at first. Later they told me they are from the LIU and they were building a database of people who have been vocal about issues in this country. When I asked why they would need such a database, they told me in case something happens to me they will inform my family," said Satish. Earlier BAPSA activist Jitendra Suna’s parents were similarly questioned by the Odisha police.
"Why Does Modi fear Students? Is it about students exposing government’s policy of closing down of public-funded education in favour of foreign and corporate universities?" asked N Sai Balaji, National President of the All India Students' Association (AISA). "Now, at a time when students of JNU and numerous other universities are fighting back the Modi government's design to close down public-funded institutions through arbitrary fee hikes, protesting students are being targeted with police brutalities, student leaders and activists are being targeted with false cases and victimisation, and their family members are being targeted with threats and intimidations," he added.
The JNUSU has been protesting for accessible and affordable education for all. The protest was sparked off when the administration, allegedly, passed a new hostel manual and hiked the fee without consulting with the students or the teachers. The university students have been protesting for almost a month.