New Delhi: A section of students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University on Monday condemned the arrest of Hem Mishra, a former student of the varsity, by Maharashtra Police on charges of Maoist links.
Mishra, who was a student of JNU`s Center for Chinese and South East Asian studies, was arrested on Saturday along with two others in Aheri taluka of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra.
Addressing a press conference here, members of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students` Union (JNUSU) said Mishra was a cultural activist who had been "arbitrarily" arrested by the Maharashtra Police.
JNUSU general secretary Shakeel Anjum said Mishra was physically challenged and was being wrongly projected as a `prominent Naxal courier` to the media by the police.
"We condemn the fictitious and surreptitious arrest of Hem. He is physically challenged and has undergone two major operations in his left hand in the recent past. This is clearly an act of state terror," Anjum said.
Mishra`s brother Deepak, who was also present at the conference, said that he got to know of his arrest yesterday from media reports.
"These are baseless charges. We were concerned as we had been trying to call him for the last three days. His friends told me that they could also not get through him," he said.
K J Mukherji, professor at JNU`s School of Biotechnology, said it was concerning as to how people were being picked by police and labelled as Naxalites.
"It is not just the case that he is our student, we are concerned how the police picks up people. We have high profile cases - like that of Binayak Sen," he said.
Representatives of several student and cultural organisations were present at the press conference.
Mishra, who hails from Almora in Uttarakhand, was arrested with two others for alleged links with ultras after they were found moving in a suspicious manner in Gadchiroli.
According to Gadchiroli police, a micro chip containing some vital information and secret documents allegedly meant to be handed over to senior naxal cadre was found to be in possession from the three arrested.