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Indo-Canadian students to protest in support of JNU

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Toronto: The University of British Columbia’s Indo-Canadian students, faculty and the staff will be holding a rally in solidarity with the Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) on March 3 in Canada according to a media report.

“As you already know many central universities are under brutal attack from the BJP-led right wing government in India. Rohith Vemula, a bright PhD student of the University of Hyderabad who belonged to Dalit community, was victimised, harassed, and thrown out of the university which ultimately forced him to take his own life,” The Voice quoted an email by a student as saying.

“The students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi who led a big student movement against the institutional murder of Rohith are now facing a deadly onslaught of the state — its entire student’s union and leftist leadership booked under the draconian sedition charges,” the email added.

“Its President Kanhaiya Kumar was almost lynched in the court premises by fascist hoodlums in black coats in full public view, and in spite of a huge police presence that refused to act,” the email noted.

The email said that the university would celebrate the day as “International Support Day for JNU”.

Hundreds of universities, public intellectuals, human rights organisations from all over the world have raised their voice in support of the JNU students and teachers, the report said.

Recently, students, including Indian-Americans, from New York University (NYU) and the Cooper Union college in New York gathered at Washington Square Park to support JNU Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar and other students who were arrested on sedition charges last month.

An Indian-American student said during the protest that the primary purpose of the event was to raise awareness about Kumar’s arrest.

“[Kumar] was arrested for making these comments against the government, even though he was not actually saying anything against the government, he was just having this poetry reading,” Anjana Sreedhar said.

“We are protesting against the fact that he was arrested under the sedition law which is very antiquated and very outdated,” Sreedhar added.

Sreedhar, along with several other students read English transcripts of Kumar’s speech during the poetry reading and asked if his words warranted arrest. They also encouraged passersby and attendees to attend a forum discussion at the Cooper Union next week.

A student activist at the NYU Sumathy Kumar said she attended the rally because she wants to show her support to the JNU students who were “beaten and arrested and so much violence was being committed against them just for speaking out”.

Anthropology professor Tejaswini Ganti said that she was glad students were voicing support for JNU’s students and that universities should be an open forum for all opinions — even those that dissent against the governing party.(IANS)

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  • P. B. Josh

    In JNU students’ support, these students should show to India and the world by shouting exactly similar slogans for ‘Canada Ki Barbadi’ and ‘Canada Ke Tukde Tukde’ and show how strong Canada’s FOE is compared to India’s FOE.

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All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border.

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Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
  • It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
  • This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.

Here are few things about it you may not have known before :

  • Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.

Also Read: India and Iran sign agreement to develop Chabahar Port

  • The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.

Also Read: Gwadar Port: China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant 

  • The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
    The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.

    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
  • In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
  • India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.

    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehrain. Wikimedia Commons
    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehran. Wikimedia Commons
  • It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.