As mentioned in Emergency Files 02, Ashok Lata Jain, the Student Councillor of the JNU Students Union (JNUSU), was suspended for signing the pamphlet of the Union opposing the arbitrary and illegal action of the Vice-Chancellor who struck off from the admission list the names of students whose political opinions were unpalatable to the ruling dispensation. Ashoka, who had signed the pamphlet in the capacity of the Chairman of the JNUSU Council meeting held on 19 August, was subsequently expelled by the University authorities. This authoritarian act caused widespread anger among the student community, and ‘The Resistance’ called for a three-day class boycott in solidarity with Ashoka. On the second day of this historic strike (which was probably the first comprehensive student strike anywhere in India against the Emergency), a notorious act was perpetrated by the police – a first-year student of the University was kidnapped!
Here we reproduce two pamphlets issued by ‘The Resistance’ – one, calling for the boycott and the second, reporting the police terror.
Urgent: Read & Circulate
Boycott Classes in Solidarity with
Ashok Lata Jain on 24, 25, 26 September
Ashok Lata Jain, student councillor of the JNU Students Union and Ph.D. student in the Centre for Regional Development has been expelled by the ‘Court of Honour’, set up by the Vice-Chancellor on trumped-up charges. This black deed is the worst act perpetrated on the student community since the foundation of the University. The authorities are continuing their offensive against the democratically elected students union. Coming on top of the order prohibiting Union elections, the expulsion of Ashok Lata Jain is an attack which the students will resist. Ashoka has been victimized for doing her elementary duty as an elected student representative and for upholding the democratic rights of students.
TO EXPRESS OUR TOTAL SOLIDARITY WITH HER ALL THE STUDENTS WILL GO ON STRIKE BY REFUSING TO ATTEND CLASSES, THE LIBRARY, AND OTHER ACADEMIC WORK FOR THREE DAYS BEGINNING FROM 24 SEPT.
Our students have been taught another object lesson about the real face of the Emergency: expulsion of left and democratic student leaders, denial of admission to them and terror on the campus. The Vice-Chancellor having instigated this action has left for the United States to continue his intrigues with US imperialism on behalf of the Indira Govt. on the Indo-US Joint commission.
Let us make every effort to boldly convert the three day boycott into a historic protest. We solicit the active sympathy and support of the teachers and employees in this just struggle of ours.
Withdraw the action Ashok Lata Jain!
Unitedly we will fight for our rights!
— THE RESISTANCE
Shocking events took place amidst the student strike, which were faithfully reported by ‘The Resistance’ in their pamphlet.
Fight this Police Terror Tactics Unitedly:
Continue the Boycott on 26th
Angry over the very successful beginning of the three day boycott call on 24th by the students protesting against the expulsion of Ashok Lata Jain, the police in collusion with the University authorities have perpetrated a cowardly provocation against the students.
After the ninety percent boycott of classes on the 24th, on the 25th morning the boycott threatened to be total. An instance is the School of Languages where with over 600 students, only 3 entered the building in the morning. Since the 24th three police trucks were parked around the campus to intimidate the students. At 10:30 a.m. the police went into action. A black ambassador car with 4 plain-clothes men was parked inside the campus. The men approached Prabir Purkayastha who was standing near the School of Languages and dragged him away to the car, and despite the resistance of some students they whisked him away. This fascist style attack has been launched on a totally innocent person. Purkayastha joined the University only two months ago and is senior fellowship holder in the School of Computer Sciences. This was a deliberate provocation as Prabir had been asked by the policemen if he was Tripathi [the JNUSU President] and he had replied in the negative.
The VC (now safely ensconced in the USA) had informed the last Academic Council meeting that after the 8 July raid the authorities had assured him that the University would be informed within 8 hours of the names of the students arrested and the charges on which they are held. We demand that the Rector and the Registrar get this information and get Prabir released immediately.
The students, teachers and employees have responded to this blatant provocative act with outrage and are determined to unitedly face such onslaughts.
REMAIN CALM AND CONTINUE THE BOYCOTT
TO ITS SUCESSFUL CONCLUSION ON 26th!
— THE RESISTANCE
The man who kidnapped Prabir Purkayastha was P.S.Bhinder, who later became the Commissioner of Police. Prabir was to spend the rest of the Emergency in jail under the infamous Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA), but that, of course, was unknown to the students then.
(To be continued)
Emergency Files - Earlier Episodes: