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Delhi University protest as it happened: Umar Khalid, missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed's mother join students at Mandi House

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Delhi University protest as it happened: Umar Khalid, missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed's mother join students at Mandi House
  • 17:56 (IST)

    Missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed's mother says there was no help from the govt

  • 17:19 (IST)

    A DU student recounts how the cops assaulted her

  • 16:59 (IST)

    This govt has singled out students and universities as its single largest enemy: Umar Khalid tells Firstpost

  • 16:57 (IST)

    Nandita Narain, DUTA president, at the students' protests…dents-protests-3315148.html/embed

  • 16:54 (IST)

    Umar Khalid addresses the crowd at Mandi House…in-mandi-house-3315136.html/embed

  • 16:37 (IST)

    Protesting students

  • 16:35 (IST)

    Security deployed at Mandi House

  • 16:24 (IST)

    DU and JNU students return: Anti-ABVP slogans chanted at Mandi House…at-mandi-house-3315094.html/embed

  • 16:23 (IST)

    Delhi University and JNU students return to protest against ABVP hooliganism…vp-hooliganism-3315050.html/embed

  • 16:19 (IST)

    Ramjas, as an issue, has not lost focus: DU student

    Abinash, a second-year Literature student from Ramjas says that currently the university students are divided into the binaries of nationals and anti-nationals. "This will not simmer down. A lot of apolitical crowd from the campus have taken stand against their (ABVP) violence. That's the larger achievement."…tudent-abinash-3315088.html/embed

  • 15:28 (IST)

    Students from Delhi University and JNU returned to Mandi House to protest against ABVP goondagardi

  • 16:20 (IST)

    ABVP leader, Saket addresses protesters at the "Save DU" march at North Campus

  • 16:14 (IST)

    Our stand on Kashmir issue is undebatable, no discourse allowed around it: ABVP activist


  • 15:45 (IST)

    Protesters chant 'Kashmir Humara Hai'

  • 15:36 (IST)

    Amid chants of Vande Matram, a show of force behind the current conflict?

    The battle between and Left and Right leaning students groups seems to have become a contest for prestige. With rallies and counter rallies, lined one after the other the student groups are unrelenting and the storm is unlikely to die down any time soon.

    However, with students on the roads, instead of classrooms, studies have taken a hit.

  • 15:05 (IST)

    Students are clueless about the what they are protesting for

    "There are anti-national elements inside Ramjas College and they spoke about splitting the country. We won't stand such talk. They eat here, they avail the subsidies here and they talk like this," a student from the Deshbandhu College told Firstpost. The funny thing is, the "anti-national elements" (Read: Umar Khalid) this student talks about, was at Ramjas to discuss Bastar and its poor economic and social situations.

    It appears that most of the ABVP supporters who are in Delhi agitating against "anti-nationals" in Delhi University don't have a clear idea of what they are protesting against. Firstpost reporters spoke to several students who took part in the march and largely the emotions ran rather high. Surprisingly though the issues were not pertaining to Ramjas. Students said they would not tolerate anyone who would talk about 'Free Kashmir', they would not let stand the killing of "innocent" RSS workers in the hands of "commies" of Kerala. 

    The problem is right here. Agitation (whether Right or Left) is totally justified in a democracy, but when you start mobilising a volatalie crowd and appropriate unrelated issues to create a scenario and extract a reaction, that's when problems arise. In Delhi today, students who are part of the march have similar dubious motives. Someone's there for Kashmir, someone else for the anti-nationals in Delhi University and someone is against splitting Kashmir.

  • 14:33 (IST)

    Firstpost is LIVE with former DUSU president Sateendra Awana

  • 14:07 (IST)

    Why carry photos of political killings which happened in Kerala at North Campus?

    What's the connection between the ongoing protests in Delhi University and the political killings in Kerala? ABVP protesters, who promised a peaceful protest, were seen carrying posters of RSS workers who were killed in Kerala. What is the point of it, you ask? There are a few. The primary aim appears to be to instigate the so-called sentiments of nationalism and national pride and brotherhood among the protesters. It was also an indication that the protests could turn violent, but we do not know that yet.

    Using violent images of political killings which have absolutely no bearing on the ongoing DU protests, is what makes people doubt the ABVP agenda. 

  • 14:05 (IST)

    ABVP carrying photos of Kerala killings meant to rile sentiments

    The display of provocative posters of gruesome communist violence by ABVP reflects a specific 'political end' in their narrative - to invalidate the popular leftist narrative by conflating it with the militant leftist narrative.

    This macabre display is meant to - first, rile sentiments and perhaps pull the neutral masses onto their side; and two, subtly legitimise the violence unleashed on students and faculty on 21 and 22 Feb. Most of all, it flies in the face of what large sections of the non-political DU crowd stood for on 28 Feb: violence. By flaunting these images in a terse public space, ABVP is only consolidating its standard nationalist narrative that is intrinsically based on violence, bloodshed, and disorder. Far more worryingly, they are heavily politicising the entire political discourse on the Ramjas violence.

  • 13:28 (IST)

    This peaceful DU march against anti-nationals will be bigger and better than AISA's: Former DUSU president speaks to Firstpost

    Former DUSU president Satyendra Awana spoke to Firstpost and said that no anti-national sentiment will be tolerated inside Delhi University. "This is the main protest against the anti-national remarks made by students and this is not good for campus enviroment."

  • 13:19 (IST)

    Saffron flags with 'ABVP' printed on them, National Flag and activists chanting "DU against anti-nationals" take over the North Campus

  • 13:02 (IST)

    Metro gates for North Campus shut

  • 12:58 (IST)

    Arun Jaitley speaks out on Delhi University row

    While the North Campus in New Delhi is bustling with activity, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that nationalism is a bad word only in India. 

  • 12:42 (IST)

    Yechury retorts to Parrikar's comment, says restriction on free speech determined by Constitution

    "What defines legal restrictions of the Defence Minister? His whims and fancies? Restrictions are defined by our constitution," Yechury said after Parrikar's comment on the row that ensued after Gurmehar Kaur's post.

    When asked about his opinion on Gurmehar Kaur, Parrikar had said that he believed in the freedom of expression but within the ambit of legal restrictions

  • 12:35 (IST)

    ABVP promises peaceful protest amid heavy security

  • 12:35 (IST)

    ABVP Protest march starts at DU North Campus

  • 12:26 (IST)

    ABVP hopeful of huge turnout at rally, says teachers will also support

    According to a report in News18 - Hindi,  ABVP has expressed hope that a huge number of students and teachers will join their protests against the alleged "anti-India" stand of the Left-leaning student groups.

    The report also said that another rally, called by the Left students' groups, is likely to take place post the ABVP's 'Save DU' march.

  • 12:16 (IST)

    Haryana Minister Anil Vij stands by statement on Ramjas row, says Gurmehar supporters pro-Pakistan

  • 12:00 (IST)

    Freedom of Expression is great but within legal limits: Parrikar on Gurmehar Kaur row

    When asked about his opinion on Gurmehar Kaur, Parrikar said: "I believe in the freedom of expression with whatever legal restrictions are there. All freedom of expression have legal limit. You cannot barge on another person's right."

    Lady Shri Ram College student Gurmehar Kaur had last week launched a social media campaign against the ABVP which had forced the cancellation of a seminar at Ramjas College over the participation of a controversial JNU student Umar Khalid.

  • 11:36 (IST)

    ABVP march to start at North Campus, will cover six DU colleges

    ABVP's 'Save DU' march is set to begin at the Faculty of Arts at North Campus in Delhi University, from where it will cross six prominent colleges under the Delhi University, including the Ramjas College.

    The march will start of from North Campus at around 12:30, and will go to the Vishwa Vidyalaya metro station, Khalsa college, Miranda House college, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Daulatram College, Ramjas College, Faculty of Law, according to ABP News.

    The protest march will then culminate near Swami Vivekanada's statue at the Faculty of Arts.

  • 11:25 (IST)

    Meanwhile in Punjab...

    The ABVP has decided to take the ongoing row beyond Delhi. The student group is all set to take out a Tiranga Yatra (Tricolour March) to show solidarity with the Indian Army, according to India Today.


  • 11:13 (IST)

    Heavy police force deployed at DU North Campus ahead of ABVP march

  • 11:06 (IST)

    ABVP to call for on-campus exclusion of Left-wing student groups

    The ABVP, with its protest planned for later in the day, will call for on-campus exclusion of the Left-leaning student organisations like AISA. 

  • 11:00 (IST)

    ABVP to hold protest march at Delhi University North Campus

    The clamour unfolding at Delhi University campus does not seem to die down any time soon. After Wednesday's students-led protest march, condemning the recent violence at Ramjas College, ABVP has came up with a counter agitation programme. The right-leaning student group will hold a 'Save DU' protest march inside the North Campus on Thursday, according to India Today.

    ABVP has called for the protest rally against the entry of outsiders on campus and their alleged attempts to "pollute" the atmosphere.

  • 10:39 (IST)

    I have no intent to enter politics: Gurmehar Kaur

    The 20-year-old Lady Sriram College student, who suddenly found herself in the eye of a storm that just refuses to die down, has again reached out to the media to try and clarify her stand.

    Kaur, who lost her father in the Kargil war, says that she is "saddened" by the whole thing taking an ugly turn, while all she wanted was to voice her opinion. She also clarified that she never had any intentions of joining politics, as reported in The Hindustan Times.

    Kaur also refused to be further dragged into the controversy, after which she allegedly recieved death and rape threats and was blatantly bullied online. "“I just gave my opinion, and I never expected the whole thing to take such a turn. I had a really bad time. I am not in a state to talk about it, and I cannot take it anymore,” Kaur told the national daily.

  • 17:40 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: So you're saying that everything that happened in Ramjas, in JNU, was the RSS' doing?

    Umar Khalid: Of course, who else is the ABVP affiliated with? Does it not come under the RSS? Or is it autonomous?

    Sanjay Singh: I am just saying that why is it that wherever you go, a situation arises where you have to go underground or are forced to hide?

    Umar Khalid: In the last one year, I have gone to ten different regions to speak, but nothing happened. But when I went to DU, where ABVP holds positions in the Students' Union, I was attacked. Why is it that it only happens in places where the ABVP is in power?

  • 17:38 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: Why is it so that everywhere you go, things just erupt? Why does outrage follow you?

    Umar Khalid: It is not me, it is the ABVP, it is RSS that is the reason behind all this violence; they are behind these volatile situations. It's not me, but the RSS.

  • 17:37 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: First of all, your argument that 100 people died because of demonetisation is invalid: What has demonetisation got to do with death?

    Umar Khalid: A lot of people died, but I guess that is not relevant

    Sanjay Singh: Those who had black money lost that ill-gotten wealth, how is that wrong?

    Umar Khalid: What black money? 97% of the money came back, where is the black money?

  • 17:27 (IST)

    Firstpost: Can you take us through the incident how it unfolded?

    Students assaulted at Ramjas College: I came to know that there is an event at Ramjas College on 21 February. When I went there, I saw ABVP members with lathis were present. They did not want Umar Khalid to speak at the seminar. I saw ABVP members were shouting slogans and were behaving aggresively. They started pelting stones. The police were present, but remained mute spectators. They called Umar Khalid a "mullah". I intervened, but looking at their body language, I backed out. I saw them chasing and beating four people. They used to call every person who wanted to attend the seminar at Ramjas College a Communist, a Naxalite and what not.Two women ABVP members assaulted me. They scratched my face, punched me and pulled my hair.

    The ABVP has been a disciplined outfit and has been indulging in such behaviour even when its parent organisation BJP was not in power. It's dominant in Delhi University. What slogans you can shout, what books you can read, everything is according their standards.

  • 17:20 (IST)

    Tahiba Ulfat, Vasundhara, Abir and Praveen, the four girls who were allegedly assaulted by ABVP activists while they were protesting at Ramjas College on 21 February, speak to Firstpost about their ordeal

    Firstpost: Tell us about the environment in the university: Do ABVP goons roam around as freely, as it's being said?
    Students: This is first time that the police were hand in gloves with the ABVP. They detained protesters without provocation and beat us up. Tuesday's march was historic, as it was not a fight between the Left and Right. The protest also had Ambedkarites and feminists too.
    Firstpost: Do we have an environment in Delhi where we can have a healthy debate?
    Students: If you have clarity over what you know, there is no need for conflict. We as students will debate and dissent everything under the sun. Nothing is taboo in a university. Dissent in the university is different from a political opposition's dissent, however, as it's ideological and not political in nature.
    Firstpost: How to make the university safer for women?
    Students: The patriarchal ideology is not limited to ABVP; it's the dominant ideology across India. Without passion, there can be no protests. ABVP is fascist, so it is violent, but the Left is fighting for justice, peace and equality.

  • 17:09 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: You are creating a sort of "demon" in the country that the government is oppressing minorities or the poor.

    Umar Khalid: What about the 100 people who died because of demonetisation, was that nothing?

    Sanjay Singh: I did not say that...

    Umar Khalid: You are saying that I am presenting a scary picture, which is false. Would you say that 100 deaths are not scary?

  • 17:06 (IST)

    Umar Khalid: You need to look beyond just the one incident: The bigger picture is that these goons who stopped the event have the backing of government forces. This is an attack on education. This is an attempt by the government to turn education into a business. The poor and the oppressed are suffering because of this.

    Sanjay Singh: The situation is not as bad as you are describing it to be. But why are slogans of ‘Kashmir azadi, Bastar azadi’ raised in these universities?

    Umar Khalid: I am not in a position to represent the people who were present there but why should they be stopped from expressing or exercising their right to freedom of speech?

  • 16:59 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: I am not in a position to investigate the matter, but can you explain this "save DU" chant — what is the need to ‘save DU’ — what is threatening DU?

    Umar Khalid: The Ramjas College incident on 21 February is the reason behind the slogan. An academic event was censored, a seminar was stopped and the academic environment of the university was deteriorated. That is why we need to save DU.

  • 16:58 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: Coming to the Ramjas row, what was so abnormal about what happened? If you are invited by someone, by a college, and that invitation is revoked, why is that an issue?

    Umar Khalid: What about the fact that violence was used to cancel the invitation? Are you saying it’s OK to use violence to silence someone?

    Sanjay Singh: No one is supporting violence but if an invitation is revoked then...

    Umar Khalid: What about just the act of stopping the seminar, do you support that?

    Sanjay Singh: No, no one supports stopping a seminar

    Umar Khalid: The seminar was stopped, that is the abnormalcy — and this is why we need to "save DU".

  • 16:56 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: Previous directors and vice-chancellors have also been criticised for their actions in the past. Why is there a revolt this time?

    Umar Khalid: Everytime something wrong has happened, people have protested and revolted against it. It's not an attack on a particular government, but rather a debate on what is right and wrong.

  • 16:53 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: What has happened in these two years of the Modi government that makes you feel this way?

    Umar Khalid: This is an important question. It’s true that the education policy over the last two decades has been anti-student – reduced student welfare, research grants etc — but this government has added a very crucial aspect to this already anti-student policy which is to force its ideology on the students. They are harbouring some goons to enforce their ideology

    Sanjay Singh: It is not like the previous governments did not have an ideology, so why are you picking on this government?

    Umar Khalid: This government is different as the VCs and directors of universities and institutes are not selected on merit but rather on their affiliation with the Centre. 

  • 16:46 (IST)

    DU students talk about the protest against ABVP

  • 16:34 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: How is there an attack on education, universities?
    Umar Khalid: Since the Modi government came to power, you can see similar attacks on FTII, JNU and now DU… the education policy of this government has received a lot of criticism as it does not help the underprivileged…

    Sanjay Singh: What has happened in these two years of the Modi govt that makes you feel this way?
    Umar Khalid: This is an important question. It’s true that the education policy over the last two decades has been anti-student – with reduced student welfare, research grants etc. – but this govt has added a very crucial aspect to this already anti-student policy which is to force its ideology on the students. They are harbouring some goons to enforce their ideology….

    Sanjay Singh: It is not like the previous govts did not have an ideology, so why are you picking on this govt?
    Umar Khalid: This govt is different as the VCs and directors of universities and institutes are not selected on merit but rather on their affiliation with the Centre.

  • 16:30 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: Should I address you… as a student, a scholar, activist or as an accused in the JNU case?

    Umar Khalid: I am a student first, but because of the constant attacks on the education sector, on universities… you have to fight and you have to be more than just a student.

  • 16:26 (IST)

    Sanjay Singh: Why do you nit-pick certain incidents, like a rape that happened 26 years ago or the Afzal Guru case?
    Umar Khalid: The Constitution allows us to talk about anything, why should these issues not be talked about?
    Sanjay Singh: Who was Afzal Guru in your perception?
    Umar Khalid: Afzal Guru was an accused in the Parliament attacks, who was convicted.

Twenty-four-year-old Gurmehar Kaur, whose social media campaign against the ABVP has gone viral, got caught up in a Twitter war on Monday with ex-cricketer Virendra Sehwag and actor Randeep Hooda who called her a "political pawn".

Gurmehar Kaur, a Delhi University student, had started the campaign 'I am not afraid of ABVP', following the violence at Ramjas college, which went viral and received a massive support from students of various universities.

She posted her pictures on Facebook holding different placards including 'I am not afraid of ABVP' and 'Pakistan did not kill my father but war did'.

While the literature student's classmates and peers started sharing the post, prompting students from various universities across the country to change their profile pictures with similar placards, Sehwag shared an image of his holding a placard saying, "I did not score two triple centuries. My bat did."

Gurmehar Kaur.

Gurmehar Kaur.

While many Twitter users criticised Sehwag for comparing a cricket match to a war, many others including Randeep Hooda cheered Sehwag for his remark, saying, "She (Gurmehar) is being made a pawn."

"Really sweet of you to encourage the hate I've been receiving. Makes me feel happy that I adored your work :) Pawn? I can think. I don't support violence perpetuated on students? Is that so wrong (sic)," Kaur said in a series of tweets in reply to Hooda's comment.

The Twitterati reacted negatively to the actor's remark prompting him to get into a damage control mode.

"What's sad is that the poor girl is being used as political pawn...It absolutely wrong..have a feeling it's not limited to that in interpretation (sic)" he tweeted.

"Don't call me a Martyrs (sic) daughter if that bothers you. I never claimed anything otherwise. You can call me Gurmehar," she tweeted.

Kaur, daughter of Kargil martyr Captain Mandeep Singh has approached the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) alleging that she has received "rape threats" allegedly from members of the ABVP after she initiated the campaign against the RSS' student wing.

Ramjas college had last week witnessed large-scale violence between members of the Left-affiliated AISA and the ABVP.

The genesis of the clash was an invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on 'Culture of Protests' which was withdrawn by the college authorities following opposition by the ABVP.

Updated Date: Mar 04, 2017 18:10 PM

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