Indian origin Princeton University student Achinthya Sivalingan arrested in USA for participating in anti-Israel demonstration

Indian-origin student arrested in US for participating in anti-Israeli demonstration
Indian-origin student arrested in USA for participating in anti-Israel demonstration. Photo Courtesy: Princeton University website

An Indian-origin student was arrested and allegedly barred from Princeton University for participating in anti-Israel protests which are taking place in several educational institutions across the USA.

The arrested student was identified as Achinthya Sivalingan.

Achinthya Sivalingan, hailing from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and raised in Columbus, is facing disciplinary action and campus ban, a university spokesperson told Hindustan Times.

About 100 undergraduate and graduate students began a sit-in demonstration in McCosh Courtyard on Thursday (April 25, 2024) when they joined the pro-Palestinian supporters in the country.

After student organisers first began to erect tents, Princeton Public Safety (PSAFE) issued its first warning to protesters. At least two student arrests have been made. After the initial arrests, students folded them away, reported The Daily Princetonian.

Students face arrest and being barred from campus if they refuse to stop after a warning, according to a campus-wide message on Wednesday (April 25, 2024) morning from Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun, reported the newspaper.

“We are part of a historic moment in student movements drawing on anti-war student movements in American history,” Emanuelle Sippy, the president of the Alliance of Jewish Progressives (AJP), told The Daily Princetonian.

“It’s very easy to valorize this when it’s about South African apartheid or the Vietnam War or Kent State. We need to show up in this present moment.” Sippy noted she was not speaking for AJP.

Apart from Achinthya Sivalingam, another student named Hassan Sayed GS was also arrested by the cops within minutes after the first tent was setup in the campus.

“The two graduate students have been immediately barred from campus, pending a disciplinary process,” University spokesperson Jennifer Morrill told The Daily Princetonian.

“No force was used by Public Safety officers when conducting the arrests, which occurred without resistance,” Morrill added.

Meanwhile, protesting the move, the student organisers have circulated a document on Instagram where they asked alumni and other members of the university to call and email the University to halt disciplinary measures and said that Sivalingam and Sayed had been evicted from their campus housing and had been given five minutes to collect their belongings.

Hundreds of people have been arrested in universities across the country as pro-Palestinian campus protests are heating up in the USA.

At New York’s Columbia University, the epicenter of the demonstrations, protesting students said they won’t disperse until the school agrees to cut ties with Israeli academic institutions and disinvest its funds from entities connected to Israel, among other demands, reported CNN.

Protesters in other universities are making similar demands.

Who is Achinthya Sivalingan?

According to the official website of the university, Achinthya Sivalingan was born in India’s Coimbatore region and she studied world politics and economics at the Ohio State University.

“She has worked on a range of policy issues in the United States and in India through civil society organizations and the legal system, politics and movement building, and private philanthropy,” read the Princeton University website.

Most recently, Achinthya supported policy and advocacy work for the climate adaptation, agricultural development, and nutrition portfolios at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the website further said.