When freedom isn’t free and expression is pelted at, what do you with the doctrine which guarantees your claim to an orderly life? This is the question facing the annals of the most coveted university in the country, DU. This evening, the Maurice Nagar Police Station witnessed a ‘clash’ between AISA and ABVP, the prominent student bodies of the Delhi University. Only it was not a clash. The members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad launched an attack on the peaceful protest being held by the students of the University.
On Tuesday, Wordcraft-the Literary Society of Ramjas College (the institution which has been in the centre of the ruckus) had organised a talk by Umar Khalid who is infamous for the sedition charges against him last year after the JNU mishap and Shehla Rashid, the vice president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union and the voice of dissent against the arrest of students in the JNU incident. The seminar which was on the ‘Culture of Protest’ received agile treatment from the RSS and BJP backed ABVP. The relentless protests resulted in the lectures being canceled. The ABVP locked the college seminar room and pelted stones to reach their ends.
With the cancellation of the highly controversial lecture by the JNU students, the student and teacher community of different colleges across the university circuit with support from All India Students’ Association decided to fight back against the deplorable constraint put to the “freedom of expression”. Consequently, a ‘Common Student-Teacher March’ from Ramjas College to Maurice Nagar Police station was scheduled at 1PM on Wednesday.
The protest, however, was met with stiff resistance from the ABVP members. Allegedly, a number of students and academicians were locked in the college campus. “The students have been locked inside and those trying to come out were beaten up by ABVP goons. We tried to barge into the college to rescue the students but they are attacking us as well. They have come prepared with hockey sticks,” an AISA member said. The ABVP, reportedly, denies all these claims.
Between the passionate sloganeering and stout fights against the breach of ‘freedom of expression’, the police was in charge to keep the situation under control. Around 100 cops were deployed to maintain the law and order in the campus. The protestors were a mix of AISA, SFI and other students from different DU colleges. Kawalpreet Kaur, AISA presidential candidate for the DUSU elections in 2016, addressed the mob.
Soon after, the ABVP members crossed over the barricades in place by the security forces and began throwing eggs, crashing bottles and assaulting protestors. Women were grabbed by their hair and given explicit rape threats.
“Ah le le teri aazadi”, said the members of ABVP. ABVP members sat outside the Police Station hindering entry for others who wanted to lodge complaint against them.A senior faculty member of the English Department of DU, Prasanta Chakravorty, was severely beaten up by at least 15 odd people, after which he was rushed to the hospital.
The peaceful nature of the march was disrupted by the violent extraordinary measures taken by the right-wing party of the University.
This brawl isn’t new. What happened in the confines of JNU exactly a year back is manifesting itself now in the streets of Delhi University. If the question of discourse and debate continues to be a utopian idea being thrashed down by administration and oppressive political structures is what remains to be seen.
We have some prominent people answering our questions very soon from both the ends! Stay tuned and support what you think is true!
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