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Jailed in Elgar Parishad case, Dr Hany Babu to get honorary doctorate

Nagpur: Former Delhi University associate professor Dr Hany Babu, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case and currently lodged in a jail in Navi Mumbai, is set to get an honorary doctorate degree from a university in Belgium, his wife has said.

In a release issued on Thursday, Hany Babu’s wife Jenny Rowena said he will be awarded the honorary doctorate from the faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Ghent University, Belgium on Friday.

Hany Babu was arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case in July 2020. He was the 12th person to be arrested in the case. The case relates to the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017.

Pune police had alleged that provocative speeches there led to caste violence at Bhima Koregaon war memorial located near Pune city the next day, and the Parishad itself was backed by Maoists.

“The faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Ghent University, which nominated Dr Hany Babu’s name to the executive committee, justified its nomination by pointing at his efforts to safeguard the importance of academic freedom and his commitment to language rights and equal access to education for minorities,” his wife stated in the release.

The diploma and the epitoga will be given during a ceremony on the university’s ‘Dies Natalis’ or Anniversary Day on March 24, she said.

Dr Hany Babu’s promoter Dr Anne Breitbarth, Associate Professor of Historical Linguistics at the German section of the Linguistics Department at Ghent University will receive the badges of honour in place of Hany Babu and the same will be handed over to him as soon as circumstances permit, she said quoting a university representative.

Apart from Hany Babu, six other researchers and scholars from the US, the UK, Canada, Austria and Netherlands are also being awarded honorary degrees on the same day by Ghent University, it said.

Hany Babu is currently lodged in Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai.

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