THE RECENT violence at Ramjas College in Delhi triggered a clash between activists of the ABVP and SFI on the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) campus on Friday evening. ABVP activists on Friday morning burnt an effigy of JNU student Umar Khalid and condemned the SFI for inviting him to speak at a seminar in Ramjas College. Later in the evening, SFI activists put up posters to condemn the ABVP.
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SFI district secretary Vilas Pable said, “A group of about 25 people belonging to the ABVP and BJYM, BJP’s youth wing, attacked SFI activists who were putting up posters near Aniket canteen around 7.45 pm. The SFI activists were only protesting against the ABVP by putting up posters. But the ABVP activists instigated violence… five SFI activists were injured in the attack.”
The ABVP claimed that SFI members attacked them first. Pradeep Gavade, secretary of ABVP’s Pune unit, said, “Umar Khalid is among those who had organised the programme in JNU in which terrorists such as Afzal Guru were glorified… So, our activists burnt his effigy and condemned the Left-wing students who invited him to Ramjas college. Because of this, the SFI got upset… They also tore down ABVP posters. When two ABVP activists questioned them, the SFI members attacked them.”
Both sides filed police complaints against each other. “We have received cross-complaints from both groups,” said a police officer.