A clash broke out between activists of ABVP, AISA and other students from the Delhi University on Wednesday, a day after JNU student Umar Khalid’s visit to Ramjas College was cancelled following protests by students. The college authorities had to withdraw the invitation to Khalid, who was charged with sedition last year, and former JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid who was the face of the movement demanding release of the students arrested in that case. According to reports, ABVP activists were staging a protest in the college on Wednesday, which led to a clash between them and AISA members. Both ABVP and AISA are student political groups representing divergent ideologies.
WATCH VIDEO | Minister Of State Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju Reacts To Delhi’s Ramjas College Protest, Says Freedom Of Speech Should Not Be Exploited
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 22, 2017
Khalid and Rashid were invited to speak at a seminar in Ramjas College on Tuesday but their visit was cancelled after ABVP and DUSU members gathered outside the college gate and shouted slogans against them. There were also allegations of the protesters using violent methods like stone pelting. Meanwhile, there was a section of teachers, students and members of left- affiliated All India Students’ Association (AISA), who were agitated over the college’s decision to ‘bow down’ to “threat to freedom of speech” had decided to march to Maurice Nagar police station calling for action against ABVP members for resorting to vandalism.
Abha Dev, member of DU Teachers’ Association, claimed that besides “several students”, three teachers of different DU colleges– Prasanta Chakraborty (English), Suvrita (History) and Mousumi Bose (Philosphy)– were injured in the clashes and taken to Hindu Rao hospital.
There was no police confirmation on the injury yet. “Not only the ABVP completely disrupted the seminar, they are also abusing, beating women and even journalists. Why can’t the police see such hooliganism? There is plenty police
presence on campus but nobody from ABVP has been detained yet,” alleged Shehla Rashid, who was formerly JNU Students’ Union vice president. Shehla also alleged that “police joined the ABVP goons in attacking me”.
WATCH VIDEO | Police Deployment Outside Delhi’s Ramjas College Following Protests, Classes Suspended
A senior police official, however, said, “Around 40-50 students have been detained to prevent further escalation.
They will be released after sometimes. The situation is under control.”
During the clash, AISA members tried to barge inside the premises to ‘rescue the captives’. An AISA member said, “The students have been locked inside and those trying to come out were beaten up by ABVP goons. We tried to barge in inside the college to rescue the students but they are attacking us as well. They have come prepared with hockey sticks.”
After assessing the situation outside, Ramjas College Principal Rajender Prasad said he is in discussion with the teachers who were organisers of the event and requested both the groups to not disrupt the peace and harmony in the college.
Delhi: Clash between AISA and ABVP students over cancellation of JNU student Umar Khalid’s talk at Ramjas College. pic.twitter.com/vJFnkg2UGQ
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 22, 2017
WATCH VIDEO | Umar Khalid Event Row: ABVP, AISA Members, Others Detained Following Ramjas College Protests
The protesters also clashed with police personnel deployed at the scene. Umar Khalid was among JNU students who were charged with sedition after February 9 episode last year in which a group of students were seen shouting ‘anti-India’ slogans in mobile footage.
Meanwhile, reactions on the incident have been pouring in from Twitter:
More disturbing report from #Ramjas college, DU, today.
Students locked inside college, being beaten and threatened, while police watches.
— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) February 22, 2017
@SushmaSwaraj please help all the girls, boys and faculty, stuck at Ramjas college, Delhi,fearing for their life. The girls hv bn harrased.
— Gauraang Arora (@AroraGaur_) February 22, 2017
Just got the message that 50-70 students are locked inside #Ramjas college by ABVP goons since morning.
— Ratnpriya. (@jimmy9_girl) February 22, 2017
Bloody ABVP goons snatched a Quint journalist’s phone, smashed her equipment outside Ramjas College. Where is this country headed?
— manjula narayan (@utterflea) February 22, 2017
‘Hamaray waalay aa gaye’ is how ABVP cadres referred to the Zee News crew at Ramjas college
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) February 22, 2017
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