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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Garba event in Surat: ABVP demands suspension of 6 cops after leaders ‘beaten up’ at police station

According to the ABVP, they were conducting a garba event near VNSGU boys’ hostel campus when police reached there and stopped the event, claiming permission was not taken and Covid protocols were not followed.

By: Express News Service | Surat |
Updated: October 12, 2021 9:54:49 pm
Demanding the suspension of policemen for the alleged assault on students after they were detained from the campus of Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU) in Surat during a garba event organised by students, claiming permission was not taken for the event and Covid protocols were not followed. (Twitter/ABVP Gujarat)

A day after six leaders of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), were allegedly detained over conducting a garba event in the Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU) campus, ABVP members on Tuesday handed over a memorandum to the Surat district collector, demanding the suspension of six policemen for allegedly beating up its leaders.

According to the ABVP members, they were conducting a garba event in an open ground near VNSGU boys’ hostel campus on Monday evening when police reached there and stopped the event, claiming permission was not taken and Covid protocols were not followed.

The students told the police team that they had permission from VNSGU vice-chancellor, KN Chawda, and refused to stop the event that led to a heated exchange. Police stopped the event and detained six agitating students. Later a large number of students reached the Umra police station and staged a protest that continued till late night to release the ABVP leaders.

The six detained — ABVP state secretary Himalaysinh Zala, Surat ABVP secretary Virtiben Shah, ABVP university campus president Priyank Shah, co-secretary of Surat ABVP Hitesh Gilator, Manoj Tiwari and Ishan Mattu — were released released late night on Monday.

These six leaders later told media persons on Tuesday that they were beaten up at the police station and their mobile phones were taken away.

On Tuesday afternoon, the ABVP leaders staged dharna outside the administrative building of the VNSGU, demanding action against the police officials concerned. They also blocked the road outside the campus.

Later the students handed a memorandum to collector Ayush Oak, demanding the suspension of Umra police station inspector KI Modi, sub-inspector Bipin Parmar, three constables — Dharmendra Giri, Ishu Gadhvi and Jatin Sawani, and woman sub-inspector N V Chaudhary.

The students then went to the police station again and staged a protest. Patidar Anamat Andolan Samithi (PAAS) leaders Alpesh Katheriya and Dharmik Malaviya also reached the Umra police station on Tuesday afternoon, in support of the ABVP leaders. Katheriya said, “I am doing LLM in the university and it is my duty to support the students.” Surat police commissioner Ajay Kumar Tomar ordered an inquiry by Deputy Commissioner of Police zone 3, KF Baloliya, into the incident.

Himalaysinh Zala said, “Without taking permission from vice-chancellor KN Chawda of VNSGU, how can police enter the university premises? We had taken permission from the VC to organise the garba event. ABVP leader Manoj Tiwari had gone to Umra police station on October 9 to seek permission for the event when the inspector told him that since it was on private premises, permission was not required.”

Alleging that they were beaten up by the policemen, Zala said, “Inspector K I Modi and staff members beat us with wooden sticks in different rooms. They stopped when students came to the police station… We have handed a memorandum to the district collector demanding the suspension of all six policemen. If no action is taken against them, we will carry out protests across the state.”

VNSGU Vice-Chancellor KN Chawda said, “During an emergency, police can enter the university premises without permission. The students had taken permission from me to organize the garba event. And this incident was not an emergency. If the police had contacted me, I would have accompanied them and convinced the students to stop the event.”

Investigating officer KF Baloliya said, “We have started an inquiry into the incident… Police police acted after getting a call about the garba event… Inspector KI Modi called up the vice-chancellor on his mobile phone before reaching the campus, but he did not attend the call. Our teams stopped the event, as a large number of students was present without maintainting Covid-19 protocols. We will take details from the policemen and also take statements of ABVP leaders… before handing over the report to the commissioner of police.”

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