Published: 03rd August 2020
I am ok: What keeps DU professor Hany Babu's family going, after shock raid on home on Sunday
The house of Delhi University professor Dr Hany Babu MT was raided on Sunday, when only his wife and daughter were present
"I am ok," says Dr Jenny Rowena, much to our surprise. The past week has been a rather rough one for her. On July 28, her husband, Delhi University Professor Dr Hany Babu was arrested by the National Investigation Agency, alleging his connection with the Elgar Parishad Bhima Koregaon case. A day ago, her home in Noida was raided by the NIA, when only Rowena and her 16-year-old daughter were present. Amid this, Rowena, in our short telephonic conversation appeared quite calm.
Rowena is an Assistant Professor at Delhi University's Miranda House. She tells us that the search officers, Rowena tells us have taken away hard disks and pen drives. "Only my daughter and I were home when the officers showed up at our door. I immediately picked up my phone to call a friend. But they did not allow me to call anyone. They immediately proceeded with the raid," she says. However, she did not forget to add that the officers were otherwise quite cooperative and did not trouble her. Previously, their house was raided in 2018,
Babu's and Rowena's house is located in Noida, quite far from where most of their friends live. "As soon as Jenny called, a colleague of ours went to her place," says Abha Dev Habib, another professor at Miranda House. "Babu always stood for the marginalised sections and the constitutional values," she says.
Babu along with a few Delhi University Teachers' Association members some time ago had formed a Committee for Defence and Release of G N Saibaba, another academic who was arrested seven years ago. " Babu along with many from DUTA have worked for the release of Saibaba and providing legal and financial support to his family. The NIA at that time had taken away everything pertaining tot the case," says Habib.
Following the raid, the DUTA had released a statement, demanding a fair investigation in the case. Both Dr Hany Babu and Dr Jenny Rowena are known for their commitment to the cause of the anti-caste struggle, social justice and have actively taken up the matter of denial of OBC seats in DU through RTIs and social mobilisation forcing the authorities to uphold the letter and spirit of constitutional provisions. As members of the DUTA, they have been active participants in the struggles against the assault on democracy and academic freedom in the University," reads the statement.
The students of Rowena, have also come out in her support. "We believe that it is imperative that the student-teacher community, as well as conscientious members of the civil society stand up and call out these vile actions and constant witch-hunt," reads a statement by the students of Miranda House. "As students from marginalised communities, we owe to his struggle for the space academicians like him have created for us in universities, and the strength that we derive from his work for our struggled against injustices," it reads.