On February 22, Delhi University’s Ramjas College witnessed intermittent violence after two groups of students — one of which was supported by RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — clashed with each other. The police then were accused of not doing enough, with the case later being transferred to the crime branch for a ‘fair’ probe.
On Saturday, however, it was a show of strength from Delhi Police during the ‘Save DU Citizen’s March’, with at least two police personnel being deployed for every protester who marched from Mandi House to Parliament Street.
According to estimates released by the police, there were nearly 400 protesters — including students and teachers from universities across Delhi — who took part in the protest, which was guarded by more than 800 police personnel to ensure law and order.
Delhi Police, interestingly this time, had deployed more women police personnel than men — 60:40 ratio. “We have learnt that it is better to give women personnel a lead in such protests. Since there are a lot of women students and teachers joining these protests, it is only appropriate to deploy more women cops. In the last protest, while dispersing the students, some constables happened to push some women students. To avoid any such situation, we planned to deploy more women than men this time,” a senior police officer said. He added that while male cops were asked to keep a watch from the outside and walk behind, the women cops were walking along with the protesters.
Police said that such a massive arrangement was made keeping in view the sensitivity of the matter. From anti-riot gear to adequate emergency response vehicles, police buses, rapid action force and elaborate barricading, the police had done it all on Saturday. “We made sure that adequate arrangements were made. We did not want a repeat of what happened on the campus on February 22. We not only had the district police but roped in force from the adjoining districts as well. We had more than seven companies from paramilitary forces and four internal companies. All the deputy commissioners of police along with ACPs, SHOs were also on the ground supervising the situation, till the speeches were over and the crowd dispersed,” a police officer said.
Traffic was affected during the march as vehicles were stopped at Janpath road, Tolstoy Marg and Kasturba Gandhi Marg, till the protesters had passed.