It was a students’ protest unlike any other in a very long time. More than 250 students gathered at the Delhi University South Campus on Wednesday morning and not one of them was there on behalf of any political party.
Students from south Delhi colleges were protesting against the murder of a 20-year-old Radhika Tanwar, who was shot dead in broad daylight a day earlier by an unidentified killer.
Holding placards saying, ‘Enough is enough. We need security’ and Sheila Dikshit wake up’ the students gathered near the Atma Ram Sanatan Dharm (ARSD) College and demanded that the police presence in the area be increased so that the students can feel safer.
Attempts to politicise the issue were thwarted as the protesting students asked the police to weed out those who were affiliated to political parties from the huge group of students.
“There is no need to politicise the issue. We don’t want any lathicharge or arrests. This is a peaceful protest and will remain so,” said Kanika Chaudhary, the vice-president of Jesus and Mary College (JMC).
The visibly angry students also raised slogans against Sheila Dikshit and the police. “If today Radhika has been murdered, tomorrow it can be someone else. This is just not acceptable. After all, this is the Capital of the country. We can’t live in fear any more,” said a livid Trishala Shandilya, a student at JMC.
Ankita Srivastava, upset over the lack of safety for women in Delhi, pointed out that this was the state of affairs in spite of the chief minister being a woman.
“This is a shame. The chief minister moves around in five-six cars with armed bodyguards but what about us who travel by buses and Metros? Who will protect us?” said Srivastava, a third year student of Motilal Nehru College.