Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists held a “protest march” on the Delhi University (DU) campus on Thursday, demanding action against what they termed “anti-national activities”.
The students’ wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is the ruling BJP’s ideological parent, said the protest march near the university’s North Campus’ Art Faculty was organised to save the Delhi University.
Students in the march were demanding strict action against all those elements who support “anarchism and anti-India propaganda”.
A clash took place between the members of the ABVP and the All India Students Association (AISA), a Left-leaning student organisation, at Delhi’s Ramjas College on February 22 that left the university campus disturbed. Trouble broke out after the colleged sent an invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on ‘Culture of Protests’, which was withdrawn by the authorities following opposition by ABVP.
Khalid allegedly shouted anti-India slogans supporting the secession of militancy-hit Kashmir last February at an event on JNU campus, and was arrested on sedition charges.
Delhi Police’s Crime Branch, which is probing the clashes at Ramjas College, has recorded the statements of two St Stephen’s College students who were allegedly beaten up by supporters of the ABVP.
The two St Stephen’s students – a boy and a girl – have alleged that they were beaten up outside the Ramjas College canteen, said a senior police officer. The girl has also alleged that she was hit with a stone, he said.
The Crime Branch team has till now received 25 complaints from both sides and is contacting students to record their statements.
“We have contacted students to join the probe. AISA activists have said that they will come together to record their statement. We had also shared our email IDs with the students and in all, we have received 25 complaints,” he said.
The complaints mainly pertain to being roughed up and that of molestation.
“There are some complaints that have claimed that while they were being roughed up, policemen were standing there. But none of the complainants have alleged that they were beaten up by the policemen,” he said.
Meanwhile, senior Delhi Police officials also met Ramjas college authorities and requested them to ensure “peaceful coexistence of students of different ideologies”.
“Since Ramjas College witnessed large-scale violence last week, officers had a word with representatives from the college. We told them to engage with students, irrespective of the ideologies they believe in.
“It was also discussed that a debate between different ideologies is essential for democracy but it should not be allowed to become violent,” an officer said.
Cops are also in the process of meeting principals of other Delhi University colleges to ensure peace in the campus area.