Staff at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) have expressed their solidarity with the two researchers IDS alum Devangana Kalita (MA Gender and Development) and Natasha Narwal, founding members of the movement Pinjra Tod (‘break the cage’), who have been arrested in India following their participation in peaceful protests against the Citizen Amendment Act in India. Pinjra Tod is a movement against restrictive curfew rules for women in university hostels, founded in 2015.
Professor Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies, said:
“We are deeply distressed by the news of Devangana and her colleagues’ arrests.”
“These researchers are committed to a democratic future in India, and the way they have been treated must not go unchallenged. Censorship, the undermining of the right to free speech and the suppression of peaceful protest have no place in a democracy.”
“We stand in solidarity with Devangana and her colleagues, and call for their immediate release, and dropping of all charges against her.”
IDS Research Fellow Anuradha Joshi who has worked with Devangana Kalita said:
“Devangana is an excellent young scholar committed to equal rights for women and social justice for all in a secular and democratic India. She has been speaking out against injustice and oppression of all marginalised groups. These young people should be celebrated not arrested, and I join with others to call for their immediate release.”