Dismissing police claims that no one was injured in the violent clashes that broke outside Delhi University's Ramjas College on Wednesday, All India Students' Association (AISA) leader Sunny Kumar has said that more than 20 people were injured in the protests.
Speaking to Firstpost, Kumar alleged that the police has blatantly misled the media by releasing false information about the injuries sustained during the clash between Ramjas college students' union and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) workers.
“Police authorities said that no one was injured in the clash. It is nothing but an attempt to hush the violence caused by ABVP workers. More than 20 people, including a Professor with the English department, were injured,” he said.
He also said that the incident was being played out as a clash between AISA and ABVP in the media, when in fact it was the ABVP cadres who had beat up students outside the college. He also claimed that the police were a mute spectator to the incident.
“ABVP workers barged into the college premises and locked the gate from inside... to resist the protest march organised by Democratic Youth Federation of India leader Kawaldeep Kaur. After that failed, they resorted to violence,” he alleged.
Kumar said that the police claims were false as the injured were admitted to the nearby Hindu Rao Hospital.
“We have not seen such violence in the Delhi University campus in recent times,” he said, adding that AISA will now protest against the police inaction.
Kumar said that the protest march organised was aimed against the university authorities, for remaining mute spectators to ABVP’s gundaraj in the university.
“When ABVP leaders and cadres protested against Umar Khalid’s speech in Ramjas College, the college authorities cancelled his segment in the programme without any resistance. The authorities remained mute spectator to the violence committed by ABVP cadres on Tuesday.”
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) February 22, 2017
The clash had occurred 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. Khalid was scheduled to speak on the Adivasi issue in a session during the two-day seminar on Culture of Protest organised by Wordcraft, Ramjas Literary Society. The Delhi Police had deployed forces to control the situation, that quickly slipped out of hand after some students attempted to resist the protest march. “We gathered in the campus to protest the attack on free speech. But some ABVP cadres entered the campus all of a sudden and started beating up students,” a Ramjas College student said. She said that unknown persons were not allowed to enter the college without permission from the authorities, and alleged that the ABVP activists were allowed inside without prior permission. On the other hand, ABVP offers a different take on the incident. Saurabh Sharma, an ABVP leader, told Firstpost that some students from within Ramjas had resisted the march, and not the ABVP activists. “When we reached Ramjas College, the president and vice-president of Delhi University Students Union, who are also ABVP leaders, were also stone-pelted. The college authorities called the police to control the situation,” he said.
“The students of the college feel that Khalid is responsible for spoiling the educational environment of Jawaharlal Nehru University. They did not want that to happen in the Delhi University,” he said.
He also claimed that Khalid was going to speak on issues such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Afspa) and Naxalism.
But when Firstpost contacted Khalid, he said that all these claims were nothing but white lies to resist the environment of debate.
"I was going to speak on the subject of my research, which is on issues related to the the Adivasis," he said.
"It is not an attack on me but on the students and the college authorities, who are making an effort to create a debate-friendly environment in the campus,” Khalid said.
Updated Date: Feb 22, 2017 19:02 PM