Delhi University (DU) may soon find itself treading dangerous ground if it fails to act upon the recorded cases of violence inflicted by its security guards on students and other activists on numerous occasions.
Following the physical assault on Sarah Grace and Rajiv Bhatia, who were distributing pamphlets outside the Arts Faculty in DU on Friday, DU faculty and students have been protesting against the continual use of violence against activism within the campus.
“There was no provocation whatsoever for the guard to assault them. It is factually misleading on DU’s part to say that they were wrong in distributing religious literature. The university should not make this a communal matter,” said Karen Gabriel, media advisor, St. Stephen’s College.
More than 40 teachers, who protested outside the proctor’s office on Friday, have now filed a memorandum to be sent to vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh, demanding strict action against the security staff and adherence to the constitutional provision that permits distribution of pamphlets and literature. This memorandum was signed by 200 teachers. “The administration is extremely reluctant to take up the issue. The main gate to the proctor’s office was locked when they learnt that teachers and students were on their way to meet him. So, we have now drafted a memorandum that will be sent to the VC for action to be taken against the guards,” he added.
While the VC denied any knowledge of the incident, other authorities also expressed surprise. “We got to know about the assault much later. If it is found that violence had been inflicted without any provocation, strict action will be taken,” said a DU official.
Teachers across DU colleges reacted. “These security guards are acting as per their own whims. Rather than criticising their action, the proctor’s office also defended them,” said PK Vijayan, professor, Hindu College.