A group of activists belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Wednesday went on the rampage at Delhi University. The group vandalised the venue of a seminar in protest against the presence of SAR Geelani, acquitted in the Parliament attack case and at present, lecturer in Zakir Hussain College.
Amid the chaos, one activist spat on Geelani. The mob, headed by Delhi University Students Union president and ABVP member Nupur Sharma damaged property and hurled abuse on Geelani at the seminar on ‘Communalism, Fascism and Democracy, Rhetoric and Reality’, disrupting the programme briefly.
The incident took place at the Arts Faculty in Delhi University’s North Campus. ABVP activists went on damaging the windows, doors, chairs and the microphone to disrupt the meeting.
“We will not let a terror suspect give a talk on Hindu terrorism in the University. Geelani was acquitted on technical grounds. He even approached the Supreme Court to clear his name but the court refused,” said Sharma.
The violence only stopped after police came in large numbers and detained the activists.
The University Community –– an independent group of students and teachers of DU, which had organised the seminar, condemned the violence.
“The violence happened in police presence and DU authorities too sided with the ABVP goons. The University should lodge an FIR against the guilty and action should be taken imediately,” said Harsh Bora, student at PGDAV College and member of the Community.
To lodge their protest the Community members would hold march at Arts Faculty on Thursday, said Bora.
In response, ABVP issued a statement saying the country was witnessing a difficult phase as terrorism and anti-social activities were increasing. “At this stage, inviting a person like Geelani shows sick mentality of the organisers. Are we going to invite Afzal Guru to Delhi University in future if he is released from jail?” the statement said.
Geelani meanwhile asked students to fight for democratic values and debunk efforts by forces to target certain individuals and terrorise a community. “This is a trailer of fascism. The fact that we held the meeting shows that we succeeded to beat the fascist forces,” Geelani said.
DU authorities said action would be taken against the errant students. “Law will take its own course against whoever has done this,” said Gurmeet Singh, Proctor, DU.
Earlier this year, ABVP activists had been arrested after they vandalised the office of the History Department head S. Z. H. Jafri protesting against certain “objectionable” portions in the B.A. History (Honours) syllabus.