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LIVE: ABVP holds huge protest march in Delhi University`s North Campus; heavy police force deployed

New Delhi: The right wing students group ABVP is holding a protest march in Delhi University’s North Campus. Here are all the LIVE updates:-

– ABVP holds protest march outside North Campus’ Art Faculty

– Heavy security was deployed in North Campus of the Delhi University in the wake of ABVP’s protest

Earlier, on Feb 28, angered by what they say is “stifling of voices,” hundreds of university students and teachers took out a protest march aimed at the ABVP as a controversy over free speech in the country gathered pace.

Faced with alleged rape threats and a virulent social media backlash, the young woman at the centre of the storm, Gurmehar Kaur, withdrew her protest against the ABVP, the ruling party-affiliated students group, which has been accused of browbeating those who support free speech.

The large-scale participation of Delhi University students, said to be largest in recent times, was remarkable given that the institution is not known for volatile students activism like the Jawaharlal Nehru University, whose students also added their voice at the march besides many eminent academicians and scholars of other colleges.

ABVP, which is also backed by the RSS, faced criticism after it was involved in violence at Ramjas college last week.

Several students and teachers of the college were beaten, allegedly by ABVP members, for inviting JNU students Umar Khalid and Shela Rashid to a seminar on free speech which was eventually cancelled.

The 20-year-old Kaur became the centre of the controversy after she launched a social media campaign against ABVP, which immediately drew threats of rape, allegedly by ABVP members, and ridicule by a Union minister, a BJP MP and former cricketer Virender Sehwag.

In comments that drew sharp criticism from the Opposition, Union minister Kiren Rijiju wondered rhetorically who was polluting her mind. He later said his remark was aimed at Leftists, and that Kaur was free to express her views.

“I stand by my comments. Anybody who tweets on social media platform should be careful. But anyone with a contrary view should be allowed to speak. Gurmehar is a young girl and she should be allowed to speak her mind,” he told reporters.

Kaur is the daughter of Capt. Mandeep Singh who was killed in a militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district on August 6, 1999, four days after Pakistani troops withdrew from Kargil.

“She is the daughter of a martyr. But his soul must be crying as she is being misled by people who celebrate when our soldiers die,” he told reporters here.

As the controversy grew, Kaur ended her campaign and left for Jalandhar to be with her family, requesting that she should to be “left alone”.

In a series of tweets, Kaur announced her decision saying she has been through a lot and “this is all my 20 year self could take (sic)”.

Kaur earlier urged people not to identify her as a “martyr’s daughter” if that bothers them.

Today, as the march made its way through the North Campus of Delhi University, with hundreds of students of JNU, DU and Jamia, she tweeted, “All my friends. Our lovely faculty! how I wish I was there.” 

In an earlier tweet, she had urged people to join the march, which is “about students and not about me”, in large numbers.

“I’m withdrawing from the campaign. Congratulations everyone. I request to be left alone. I said what I had to say. I have been through a lot and this is all my 20 year self could take. To anyone questioning my courage and bravery…I’ve shown more than enough,” she said. .

Source: Zee News