New Delhi: Hundreds of students on Tuesday protested in Delhi University’s north campus against the ABVP and urged for peace and freedom of expression.
However, Gurmehar Kaur, a student who took on ABVP, pulled back after getting death and rape threats. She later left Delhi for Jalandhar.
LG promises action
Lt Governor Anil Baijal promised “strict action” against those who attacked students and teachers in the university while the police offered security to Kaur who got the threats.
Kaur, 20, from Lady Shri Ram College, said in a series of tweets that she was withdrawing from the campaign she ignited against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on social media and urged everyone to leave her alone.
Kaur did not join the protest march in the university’s North Campus but an estimated 2,000 students did, raising slogans like “ABVP Down Down”, “ABVP Go Back” and “ABVP Don’t be so Creepy”.
Banners demanded the right to freedom of speech and condemned the ABVP for the February 21-22 incidents outside Ramjas College in the otherwise placid campus.
“We are here to make the ABVP understand that DU stands together against violence,” student Hindolee Datta told IANS.
Gurpreet, a student of Ambedkar University, said: “Our right to protest has been taken away by the ABVP and RSS. This is not just about Delhi University but the whole nation.”
The protest mainly drew students from Delhi University and a sprinkling from the Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia. Lecturers also joined the march.
Ramjas college clash
On February 21, the ABVP forced Ramjas College to axe a seminar due to the participation of JNU student Umar Khalid, charged with sedition last year.
The next day, ABVP activists were accused of attacking students, teachers and journalists during a protest march in the campus.
NSUI stages hunger strike
Also on Tuesday, members of the Congress-backed National Students Union of India staged a hunger strike in the campus against the ABVP.
Kaur, who faced rape and death threats, tweeted her withdrawal from the campaign on Tuesday morning.
“I’m withdrawing from the campaign. Congratulations everyone. I request to be left alone. I said what I had to say,” Kaur tweeted.
“I have been through a lot and this is all my 20 year self could take,” said Kaur, whose army officer father died in the Kargil war. “To anyone questioning my courage and bravery, I’ve shown more than enough.”
She later also said that she wished she was there at the protest.
“2000 people in solidarity! All my friends. Our lovely faculty! how I wish I was there,” Kaur said.
Her grandfather Kanwaljeet Singh said politicians should refrain from commenting on his granddaughter.
“It is a drama. Politicians must refrain from giving statements. She is just a young girl, lost her father. Don’t they (politicians) see a daughter in her?”
“Because of so much talk, my son’s patriotism is being questioned now,” he said.
On Tuesday, Delhi Police also registered an FIR under the IT Act and for sexual harassment and criminal intimidation.
At the same time, Kaur got the backing of her teachers.
“It is immensely gratifying to us as her teachers that she has responded sensitively, creatively and bravely to events in her immediate context rather than seek the safe refuge of silence,” faculty members of her college’s English Department said.
Kejriwal seeks ABVP members arrest
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought the arrest of ABVP activists blamed for the violence and said Lt Governor Baijal had promised “strict action”.
In a separate memorandum, Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) urged the police to arrest “ABVP goondas” who attacked and made rape threats to women students.
NHRC demands probe
The National Human Rights Commission told the Delhi Police to probe the “excesses” by its men against the students for which three policemen have already been suspended.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad admitted that trolling Kaur was wrong but blamed the opposition for escalating the university issue.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju blamed leftists for the unrest, accusing them of celebrating when Indian soldiers die.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury hit back. “Ministers are supposed to work under the constitutional oath to ensure the rule of law. The current lot, instead, jumps to the support of those who threaten, abuse and bully a 20-year-old lady,” he said.
Source: Zee News