Ensure democratic atmosphere for South Asian University students

Students of South Asian countries who hail from socially and economically-oppressed background, that depend on this intergovernmental-funded university are becoming the primary victims of the undemocratic administration.

23 student organisations have endorsed an international solidarity statement for the students of South Asian University, Delhi. The students’ organisations from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and the United States have pledged solidarity with the students who are facing disciplinary actions and demanded the authorities revoke it and address all the demands put forward by the students.


Following is the joint statement endorsed by student organisations of India, Pakistan, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Bangladesh and Nepal in support of students of South Asian University, Delhi.

Date: 7-3-2023

Dear Comrades and students of South Asian University,

We raise our fists in solidarity with the students of South Asian University (SAU) in Delhi – an international university run by members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) – who were penalised with disciplinary actions for demanding pro-student changes on campus and are now protesting against the anti-student administration of SAU.

Six students of SAU – who were part of a month-long protest demanding an increase in stipend for Masters’ students to Rs 7,000 in parity with PhD students receiving JRF, representation of students in the University Complaints Committee (UCC) that deals with sexual harassment complaints, modification of the extension policy for PhD scholars affected by COVID-19 and other basic demands – were clamped down with varying disciplinary action.

Indian students Bhimraj M, Umesh Joshi, Apoorva Y K and Procheta were expelled, Rohit Kumar and Keshav Sawarn were rusticated and Bangladeshi students Bonna Chakraborty and Sudeepto Neloy were fined. Ammar Ahmed’s rustication was cancelled due to his hospitalisation caused by the university. He had attempted suicide due to the mental harassment meted by the administration, had suffered cardiac arrest and seizures, and has ongoing mobility and speech problems. The University has flouted its previous promise that it would cover all his medical expenses.

The university which has a 50% domicile for Indians doesn’t have an SC-ST cell. Students from marginalised communities have complained about Brahmanical casteist discrimination on the campus. Further showing the casteist spirit of the SAU administration, show-cause notices were sent to all 5 students but not to the Dalit student, Bhim Raj. He was expelled without any inquiry or an opportunity to defend himself against the levelled charges.

The campus is so undemocratic that students were given a warning and show-cause notices for tweeting criticism and demanding proper Wifi facility. 5 faculty members who spoke for Ammar and against the anti-Student administration of SAU were given show-cause notices. 5 non-teaching staff were also given show-cause notices for demanding allowances.

Students of South Asian countries who hail from socially and economically-oppressed background, that depend on this intergovernmental-funded university are becoming the primary victims of the undemocratic administration.

Along with pledging solidarity with Apoorva’s indefinite strike, we also protest against the threats by Delhi police and university administration on students, especially on Apoorva. Instead of clamping down on the democratic protests by students and silencing teaching and non-teaching staff and sending over police to suppress the protests, SAU should:

• Revoke all disciplinary actions taken against the students by the South Asian University administration.
• Address all demands put forward by the protesting students.
• Ensure free medical treatment for Ammar Ahmed.
• Ensure democratic atmosphere for students.
• Set up SC-ST cell
• SAARC should hold the administration guilty.
• Resist privatisation and saffronisation of the campus.

Undersigned Organisation:

  1. Progressive Student Federation (PrSF) – Karachi, Pakistan
  2. Progressive Students Collective – Pakistan
  3. National Students Federation – Pakistan
  4. League of Filipino Students – San Francisco State University, United States
  5. All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union (Revolutionary) – Nepal – (Bahumat)
  6. All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union (Revolutionary) – Nepal – ( Revolutionary Maoist)
  7. Revolutionary Student-Youth Movement (RS-YM) – Bangladesh
  8. Democratic Students Association (DSA) – Kerala, India
  9. Revolutionary Students Front (RSF) – West Bengal, India
  10. Progressive Democratic Students’ Federation – West Bengal, India
  11. Student Uprising Movement for Social Welfare (SUMS) – Tamil Nadu, India
  12. Progressive Democratic Students Union (PDSU)- Telangana, India
  13. Students for Society (SFS) – Punjab, India
  14. Karnataka Vidhyarthi Sanghatan – Karnataka, India
  15. Bhil Army Students Federation, India
  16. Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch (bsCEM) – Delhi, India
  17. Hundred Flowers Group – Delhi, India
  18. Democratic Students Union – Delhi, India
  19. Manipur Students Association – Delhi, India
  20. Disha – Delhi, India
  21. Collective – Delhi, India
  22. Parivartankami Chhatra Sangthan (PACHHAS), Delhi
  23. Vishwavidyalaya Chhatra Federation (VCF) – Delhi, India