AIZAWL, Jan 16: Students and staff of Mizoram University staged a peaceful demonstration expressing solidarity with the teachers and students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The demonstration was jointly organised by the Mizoram University Teachers’ Association (MIZUTA), the Mizoram University NonTeaching Employees’ Association (MUNTEA) and the Mizoram University Students’ Council (MZUSC) on Wednesday to express solidarity with the victims of atrocities committed in JNU on January 5. 

The Mizoram University Alumni Association and the JNU Alumni Association, Mizoram Chapter also joined the demonstration. They issued a statement strongly condemning the extreme violence inflicted on the teachers and students of JNU. They demanded that the culprits be identified and brought to justice. They urged the authorities concerned to ensure safety of the students and teachers at the institutes of higher learning across the country. They urged all concerned not to use the universities and institutes of higher learning as space for violence and intellectual disintegration. 

Prof Margaret Ch Zama, former president of MIZUTA, said, “We stand firm in expressing our solidarity and extending full support to the JNU fraternity in their fight to maintain the right to freedom of expression and dissent for the preservation of the hallowed values and foundation upon which the premier institution was established, which they believe is under dire threat today.” She expressed concern over the “disturbing trend of use of violent force to suppress dissent in the higher seats of learning” in the country. 

Rev Dr Lalchungnunga, a JNU alumnus and Mizoram Presbyterian church pastor, said, “We never go wearing face mask and sticks, rather we go there with reading materials, books and pens. Stick and face mask are not with academic persuasion.” He also condemned those who perpetuated violence and said this should not be repeated. -Assam Tribune

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