ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Noor Mohammed Bhatt

The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights expresses its concern at the arrest of Noor Mohammed Bhatt, lecturer of English at Gandhi Memorial College, by the J&K police on 9 December 2010 under S 13 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and S 153 of RPC for setting an examination question paper considered as being “antinational” and “anti-establishment”.

The examination paper for students of BSc was set in August and was one of the three question papers set by Noor Mohammed from which this particular set of questions was selected. The question which raised the ire of the authorities was “Are stonepelters real heroes?” and the translation of a paragraph which dealt with what was happening on the ground in Kashmir Valley, which in fi ve months claimed the lives of 112 persons. To read incitement and abetment of “unlawful” activities in such a question reveals a mindset of paranoia among authorities. The mere posing of such questions, which pedagogically was a creative way of getting students to test their skill and apply themselves to write coherently in essay writing and translation in English, is a blatant attack on the freedom of expression and academic freedom which encourage students to think critically

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