Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and Ambedkar Vichar Manch (AVM) activists clashed in Gwalior on Sunday while a professor from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was addressing a symposium organised by AVM.
At least one AVM activist Dinesh Maurya was injured during clash on Bal Bhawan auditorium premises near railway station.
Prof Vivek Kumar from JNU was invited to deliver a speech on the topic ‘Baba Saheb Ke Sapno Ka Bhartiya Samaj (Indian society as envisioned by Baba Saheb).
Amid alleged aerial firing and vandalism by BJYM activists including its district president Vivek Sharma, the Bal Bhawan premises soon turned into a battleground with brandishing of lathis etc from both sides.
Eyewitness advocate Dharmendra Singh Kushwaha (at Bal Bhawan) alleged that Ambedkar’s literature including copies of Constitution, which were displayed outside Bal Bhawan for sale, were torn by agitating BJYM activists.
AVM activists block road for over 3 hrs
In retaliation, AVM activists took to streets and blocked the road near railway station square for over three hours. Due to blockade, there was total chaos in the area. The railway station square is an important crossing. It connects Lashkar with Morar and Bhind and Morena. The traffic on these two routes was affected due to clash and the resulting chaos.
AVM activists also burned effigy of the union government and shouted anti-RSS slogans. They echoed ‘Azadi from imperialism’, ‘Azadi from capitalism’, ‘Azadi from Manuwad’ etc similar to the ones raised by JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar at JNU campus in Delhi on February 12.
Injured Dinesh Maurya and his sympathisers demanded stern and prompt police action including lodging of FIR and arrest of Vivek Sharma and others who were involved in the alleged attack.
A significant number of security personnel including senior officers were deployed in Gwalior around the venue to avoid situation from becoming more worse. Meanwhile police acting with promptness registered FIR and assured appropriate action against those who broke the law.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Virendra Jain said on the complaint of Dinesh Maurya, an FIR against Vivek Sharma and 100 unknown persons under section 323, 324, 294, 506 (b) and 3 (1) (10) ST/SC act was lodged. The injured was sent to hospital for treatment and police were further investigating the matter. Jain said the situation was now peaceful and returning to normalcy.
Political leaders reach the spot
Political leaders from Congress and CPM also reached the spot to sympathise with AVM activists. But they were politely asked to say away from it. Congress leaders including Munnalal Goel, former MLA Praduman Singh Tomar, former MLA Ramvaran Singh, Brijesh Sharma, and CPM leader Ramvilas Goswami, Jaswinder Singh and others were among those who reached the troubled site near square.
Contradictory reports of alleged provocative speeches derogatory in nature by speakers during symposium were also doing the rounds.
Vivek Sharma in his defense told HT on the phone that charges against him were false and fabricated. He said he reached the scene late and never abused or passed any castiest remarks against anyone. “On the contrary, JNU Prof Vivek Kumar’s speech was provocative and anti-national. In the symposium, pro-Mohammad Afzal and pro-Kanhaiya Kumar slogans were also shouted”, he alleged.