Violent protests broke out at Ramjas College on Tuesday over a seminar where JNU student Umar Khalid was supposed to speak. Khalid was among the students charged with sedition after an event at JNU last year where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised on campus. Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Delhi University Students’ Union gathered outside the college and shouted slogans, demanding that the invite to “anti-nationals” be cancelled.
Watch Video | Delhi: Umar Khalid’s Event At Ramjas College Interrupted, AISA ABVP Clash
Organised by the college’s English department, Khalid had been invited for a seminar on ‘Regions in Conflict’, as his area of research is conflict in Bastar. Professor Vinita Chandra said, “We had been preparing for the annual seminar for the past three-four months. We had permission from the principal. A few minutes before Khalid was supposed to reach, the ruckus at the gates started. We were initially assured by ABVP members in college that the protest would be peaceful.”
“But the protesters called police, who advised the principal to stop the event since there was no security. Teachers and students were pained by this decision. So we took out a peaceful march in the college. That is when the situation turned violent. Protesters started to hurl stones and manhandled teachers and the principal; police had to form a ring to protect us. I have taught in the college for 30 years but have never seen so many police personnel in college or the situation deteriorate so much despite the presence of teachers,” she added.
The college has now cancelled the seminar. Former JNU students’ union president Shehla Rashid was also supposed to speak on Wednesday. Police sources said no prior intimation was received on the seminar. Asked why there was damage to property despite heavy police presence, DCP (north) Jatin Narwal, said, “It was because of police presence that the situation was under control.”