New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) Expressing solidarity with university professor S.A.R. Geelani, Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) on Friday demanded his release after dropping the sedition charge against him.
“The Supreme Court had clearly laid down the parameters of applicability of the sedition law, and held time and again that peaceful discussions and expression of views cannot attract the charge of sedition,” DUTA said in a resolution passed by its executive on Friday.
“The DUTA Executive reiterates that the charge of sedition against Zakir Husain College (Evening) associate professor S.A.R. Geelani be dropped. He should be released and allowed to rejoin duty,” the resolution said.
Geelani was arrested on February 16 on a sedition charge for organising a meeting at the Press Club of India here on February 10 to mark the death anniversary of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
The resolution also expressed dismay over the cases of sedition lodged against students, teachers, activists and political leaders, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and CPI-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury and professor Anand Sharma.
“The DUTA Executive expresses grave concern over the misuse of the colonial sedition law to suppress dissent and settle political scores, and appeals for repealing of this colonial law that has no place in a modern democracy.”
The DUTA warned the government that such incidents would harm the academic environment leading to a collapse of the teaching-learning process in universities.
“The DUTA Executive appeals the teachers to stand united against all attempts to divide us, and to strengthen our united movement in defence of autonomy of universities, and democratic spaces for free debate and discussion to promote independent and creative thinking,” the resolution said.