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Ramjas college protests: ABVP, AISA, others clash over invite to JNU students, ‘many injured’

Ramjas college protests: Umar Khalid and former JNUSU vice president Shehla Rashid were invited to speak at a seminar in the college on Tuesday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 23, 2017 5:34:13 pm
ramjas, abvp, aisf Police detain ABVP students after their clash with All India Students Association (AISA) members at Delhi University north campus in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

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

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.

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:

An English professor who was attacked outside Ramjas college. (Express photo) An English professor who was attacked outside Ramjas college. (Express photo)

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Students with placards in Delhi University. (Express Photo)

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