Letter to the Collector from Women Protest For Peace (WPFP) or Shanti Sathi Stree Sangharsh

Oct 01, 2023
By Women Protest For Peace (WPFP)

To Rahul Rekhawar,
Hon. Collector,
Kolhapur District
Maharashtra State,


Topic: Incidents occurring in the educational sector since June 2023. Appeal for Intervention and action.

Hon. Sir,

In the past few months, alarming incidents have occurred in the educational sector in the districts of Kolhapur-Sangli-Satara, which are under the jurisdiction of Shivaji University. A planned program is being implemented in various educational institutions, targeting teachers by deliberately inciting students on religious grounds, putting pressure on the management of educational institutions and disrupting the harmonious educational environment. These are important institutions in this area, particularly because boys and girls of the Bahujan community are able to avail of higher education. Unfortunately, they are being targeted and are being pressured to take stands against the Constitution of India. In the wake of the sectarian violence that took place in Kolhapur in June, 2023, women of all castes and faiths have come together in an innovative platform in Kolhapur called Women Protest For Peace (WPFP) or Shanti Sathi Stree Sangharsh to support each other in times of crisis and also to raise societal awareness about women’s issues, particularly that of women’s safety. Through this forum, women are trying express anger and distress by holding silent protests to demand peace and justice against hatred and injustice. Since June 2023, many women working in the education sector have had to submit to pressure politics of religious organizations in Kolhapur district. Against this backdrop, a Fact Finding Committee (FFC) was formed on behalf of WPFP in order to gather information about cases that occurred recently and draw conclusions from the evidence.

The FFC gathered information from the following institutions:

  1. Kolhapur Institute of Technology (KIT), Gokul Shirgaon, Kolhapur
  2. Vivekananda Institutes of Education:
  3. Vivekananda College, Kolhapur b. Dattajirao Kadam Arts, Science and Commerce College, Ichalkaranji
  4. Seventh-day Adventist School, Kolhapur
  5. Rayat Shikshan Sanstha:
  6. Chhatrapati Shahu College, Kolhapur
  7. Pandit Nehru Vidyalaya and Junior College, Kaulapur, Sangli.
  8. Yashwantrao Chavan College, Pachwad, Satara
  9. Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu College, Kolhapur
  10. Chandrabai-Shantappa Shendure College, Hupari, Kolhapur


  1. The incidents that took place in the months of June -August 2023 in various educational institutions in Kolhapur and Sangli districts are not isolated occurrences. They are predetermined and have a pattern of direct intervention by external elements in educational institutions.
  2. Educational institutions have become targets of Hindutva groups and organizations.
  3. There is a deliberate attempt to create tension and rifts on religious lines among students, their parents, and general citizens by targeting educational institutions.
  4. In these educational institutions, the main intention is to create pressure on the management. It must be noted that it is mainly women teachers who are being targeted. Many teachers are sent on forced leave or transferred under pressure without due process or even a simple inquiry.
  5. Many concerned teachers/administrations have expressed the opinion that tension is being created in this manner in view of Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections coming up in 2024.
  6. The role of the police is not balanced. Their bias towards the majority Hindutva organizations was apparent. Apart from this, such incidents are occurring in many other institutions, according to information received by the FFC. However, due to pressure, they have not come out publicly. As secular, conscientious citizens and women who are aware of the future of teachers and students, we express our concern and condemn the incidents.

We demand:

  1. An independent committee be appointed to conduct an impartial inquiry into these incidents.
  2. Strict action be taken against those found guilty.
  3. Launching of a helpline to respond to complaints and also reach out immediately to affected parties in case of such incidents. Alongside, in order to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future and keeping in mind the larger goal of maintaining social harmony, representatives of the management of educational institutions, teachers, students and parents should be invited for a thorough discussion on this issue and guidelines to deal with such incidents should be evolved.

Our forum is ready to take the initiative and implement any collaborative action program on this issue.

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