The Intelligence Bureau team reached Ashoka University and wanted to interrogate the professor who raised questions about the 2019 elections.
The IB visited the university campus following the controversy over a research paper by Professor Sabyasachidas of Ashoka University, which suggested the possibility of ‘rigging’ in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
New Delhi: Amid questions being raised about academic freedom in the country, a team of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has reached Haryana’s Ashoka University. The IB team arrived on campus to examine a research paper titled ‘Democratic Backsliding in the World’s Largest Democracy’ on the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections by a former professor of the University’s Department of Economics. According to the report, the IB team wanted to interrogate former assistant professor Sabyasachidas and talk to the faculty members of the economics department in this regard.
Campus sources confirmed that a team of IB officials visited the university in search of Das. Das’s research paper dealt with voter manipulation in the 2019 general elections, leading to controversy. However, the university informed the IB authorities that Das was on leave. The IB officials then requested to meet other faculty members from the Department of Economics.
Das resigned from the university earlier this month, after which Professor Palapre Balakrishnan also resigned from the university in protest against Das’s resignation being accepted. Several university departments, including economics, sociology, anthropology and political science, have supported Das and demanded his immediate reinstatement. 320 economists from 91 universities across the country have also supported Das and demanded the university to reinstate him immediately.
The Department of Economics had expressed dismay at the acceptance of Das’s resignation and had written an open letter to the university’s governing body saying that the ‘hasty’ approval had broken their confidence. The faculty members also demanded that the university ensure that its governing body does not interfere in their work and urged them to resolve the Das issue by August 23.
In his resignation letter, Balakrishnan wrote, “I have resigned from my position based on my gut feeling that there was a serious error of judgment in response to the attention Das’s paper received on social media and for me (in the post) ) would be unfair to persist. He also said that he has information that the governing body has decided to invite Das to return to the post from which he had resigned and if it is true, I appreciate the move. . If not, I would urge you as community leaders to consider doing so.”
The Congress on Tuesday slammed the BJP-led central government, alleging that it had sent an Intelligence Bureau (IB) team to Haryana’s Ashoka University amid the controversy surrounding Professor Subayasachidas’ research paper. “The government is only proving the murder of democracy,” the party said.
In a tweet, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “By sending the Intelligence Bureau to the campus of a premier private university to investigate ‘democratic backsliding in India’, the Narendra Modi-led central government has only proved it.” The incident in India has killed democracy.