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STOP the ATTACK on Richa Singh

This petition had 421 supporters

We strongly condemn the misogynistic attacks on Richa Singh, the first woman President of Allahabad University Students Union on grounds of 'morality': an old troupe adopted by Hindutva and Brahmin forces repeatedly to delegitimise women's struggles and voices. It is extremely disturbing that instead of dismissing and taking action against the sexist and abusive complaint letter written by Rajneesh Kumar Singh, an MA first year student at AU which says things like "The (women's) hostel's gates close at 9.00 PM but Richa Singh stays out all night, till 11 PM, 12 PM. I don't know why she talks to boys and brings them to the women's hostel. I don't know what she does. She's a dabang (bold) type of girl," it has been forwarded for action. This only shows that University administration is hand in glove with the patriarchal attacks on Richa in the University. Rajneesh Kumar had also lost the union election to Richa Singh last year.

Since Richa has assumed office as the Students' Union President, she has relentlessly raised her voice against various injustices, malpractices and Hindutva forces in the University and has faced constant harassment in return. She raised questions about the appointment of an OSD who has been accused of sexual harassment and caste discrimination. In Nov last year,  when she opposed the visit of Yogi Adityanath for the inauguration of the students union on the grounds that he is communal, she along with other female students ,was physically attacked and harassed in the university campus on midnight of 19-20th November 2015 in the presence of the proctor of the university. Despite the fact that she sent a complaint to you as the VC, the university administration has not yet constituted any inquiry committee or initiated any action against the culprits. The Proctor continues to hold his post: no questions have been asked of him.

The harassment continues in various forms. Efforts are also being made to cancel Richa's admission by digging up some 'anomaly'. She has been admitted in the University as a PhD scholar for nearly two years now: why these questions are being asked suddenly? Even after the head of her Department has verified her claims as valid and in line with the procedures another enquiry was set up which has apparently found some 'faults' with her admission procedure. This clearly shows that all these attempts and 'enquiries' are politically motivated and directed towards somehow cancelling her admission and hence remove her from her post as President of the Students' Union. Ultimately it is an attack on suppressing her voice and fearlessness.

Such harassment of Richa is symptomatic of how our Universities treat women who dare to enter the 'political' arena and raise their voices. Woman can come and study in the University as docile subjects, get their degrees and get out but dare not demand or raise any questions or even assert their presence in any space. They should just somehow disappear after receiving the knowledge given in classrooms, get locked up in their houses or hostels. Women like Richa, who challenge and transgress these boundaries and attempts at caging women are continuously tried to be 'put back in their place'.

We want to assert that Richa is not alone in this fight and we stand with her and will fight all attempts at silencing and suppressing her voice. We the undersigned demand that her ostracisation by the University administration is immediately stopped and all enquiries on her quashed.

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