Violent clashes broke out between Left-affiliated AISA and RSS-backed ABVP at DU’s Ramjas college today over a seminar invite to JNU students Omar Khalid and Shehla Rashid which left “several students and three teachers injured”. Police said around 40 students have been detained to prevent any further escalation and the situation in “under control now”. The clash broke out when a group of students and teachers tried to take out a march demanding action against ABVP for alleged vandalism and also disruption of a seminar yesterday. Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad had yesterday locked down the college’s seminar room and pelted stones in protest against the invitation to the JNU students who were to address a seminar calling them “anti-nationals”.
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The college authorities decided to withdraw the invitation which irked a section of students and teachers who planned the protest march to Maurice Nagar police station demanding action against ABVP members for the “vandalism”.
The ABVP members, however, did not allow the march to proceed and allegedly locked the students and teachers inside Ramjas college while AISA members tried to barge inside the premises to “rescue the captives”.
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.
A senior police official, however, told PTI, “Around 40-50 students have been detained to prevent further escalation. They will be released after sometimes. The situation is under control.”
Shehla also alleged that “police joined the ABVP goons in attacking me”.
The two JNU students were invited to take part in a session during a two-day seminar on ‘Culture of Protest’ organised by Wordcraft, Ramjas college’s Literary Society.
While Khalid was among the students charged with sedition in connection with an event at JNU last year where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, Shehla was instrumental in the movement against the students’ arrest.
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.
Prasad had yesterday claimed that though the college advocates freedom of speech, the decision was taken keeping the situation in mind.
An AISA member alleged, “The students were locked inside and those trying to come out were beaten up by ABVP goons.”
“We tried to barge into the college to rescue the students but they are attacking us as well. They came prepared with hockey sticks. It is after four hours that the students were let out after police intervention but no action taken against ABVP,” he said.
Police officials claimed that a group of students and teachers have gathered at the Maurice Nagar police station and are shouting slogans.