Ramjas College clash: AISA, ABVP workers protest over Umar Khalid's participation in Delhi college seminar

Ramjas college students' union and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) workers broke into a violent clash in the north campus of Delhi University on Wednesday. The clash happened when ABVP workers disrupted a protest march by Ramjas college students against Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid's participation in a seminar. Around 100 students are unable to leave the college premises since the conflict broke out on the second day of a college festival.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The protest march was scheduled to take place between the college premises and Maurice Nagar police station but ended at Daulat Ram College.

"People from the ABVP are not allowing students who had come to attend a protest march to leave the college," Kawalpreet Kaur, President of the All India Students Association's (AISA) Delhi University unit.

On Tuesday, a large group of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad students disrupted the first session of a two-day seminar at Ramjas College on Indian tribals -- a subject on which Khalid is writing his PhD thesis.

According to Hindustan Times, amid sloganeering and fights, police were deployed to rein in the situation. However, students have alleged that the Delhi police has been a mute spectator in the whole situation and they have been supporting ABVP.

Students also claim that police intervention is a breach of freedom of expression.

According to Hindustan Times, Delhi University’s Ramjas College was forced to cancel a two-day seminar on "Culture of Protest" organised by Wordcraft, Ramjas college's Literary Society after the protests started. ABVP, RSS' student wing, vandalised the college and disrupted the event even before Khalid reached the campus. The JNU student was invited to speak on the war in adivasi areas.

"I was on my way to Ramjas College when I was told the event was disrupted by the ABVP. Organisers told me to come from a different route but I still could not make it," Khalid told IANS on Wednesday.

He said the Wednesday march was not about him but about the "democratic space of the university".

Khalid, a former member of the Democratic Students Union (DSU), was arrested last year on seditious charges for his role in organising a JNU rally to commemorate the death anniversary of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. The other invitee, Shehla Rashid, according to Huffington Post,was a former JNU students' union member who was instrumental in the movement against the students' arrest. (with inputs from IANS)


Published Date: Feb 22, 2017 03:08 pm | Updated Date: Feb 22, 2017 03:34 pm

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