Delhi’s prestigious Ramjas College had turned into a battleground on Wednesday as students of Left-affiliated AISA were thrashed by the RSS-backed ABVP.
The ABVP were joined by some members of Delhi Police, which reports to the Centre’s BJP government, in thrashing the protesting AISA students and members of media present on the campus to cover the event.
The genesis of the clash was an invite to JNU students Umar Khalid, facing sedition charge, and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on ‘Culture of Protests’ which was withdrawn by the college authorities following opposition by the ABVP.
Almost a dozen students and four journalists were injured in the clashes. Journalists who were victims of the violence unleashed by the ABVP members included Catch News’s Aditya Menon and Vishakh Unnikrishnan, Heena Kausar of Hindustan Times and Taruni Kumar of The Quint.
ABVP members were, however, kind to their ‘own’ journalists as they reportedly welcomed the arrivals of Zee News’s crew. Aditya said that there was a sense of excitement as soon as the reporter from Zee News arrived at the spot.
Some ABVP workers were heard saying, “Hamaray waalay aa gaye (Our own journalists have arrived now).”
The incident caused a huge public outcry as civil society members and political leaders began to condemn the violence unleashed by the ABVP workers.
Cops punch a girl. And we expect the same cops to fight terrorism, solve crimes. How pathetic can this get? https://t.co/2pN4SNZwO8
— Saikat Datta (@saikatd) February 23, 2017
Do watch full video.. this is the police you have entrusted with your and your families safety. https://t.co/BiLxabUsBY
— Abhinandan Sekhri (@AbhinandanSekhr) February 23, 2017
Leading the condemnation was Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who termed the incident ‘shameful.’
He tweeted, “Shameful. Look at how Modi police treating women. I warn Modi ji- students se panga mat lo, ye khade ho gaye to apko barbad kar denge.”
Shameful. Look at how Modi police treating women. I warn Modi ji- students se panga mat lo, ye khade ho gaye to apko barbad kar denge https://t.co/muHLzQuOs8
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 23, 2017
On Thursday, an embarrassed Delhi Police had no option but to be seen as taking action against three of its personnel, who were placed under suspension.
Undeterred by public condemnation and widespread outrage, the RSS’s students’ body registered its presence in Khalsa college a day later by forcing the administration to cancel street programme, scheduled there.
Now the anger against the BVP is fast spreading across India with the students’ wing being termed as viciously violent outfit, hellbent on crushing free voice by using the help of friendly police.
Students up and down the country and now changing the display images of their social media pages by holding placards that say, ‘I’m not afraid of ABVP.’
Here are some of the images;