Support for Gurmehar from army veterans, AAP’s Mann, Sikh group
The mother of the 20-year-old Delhi University student, whose defiant stand against the ABVP drew a volley of hate messages on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, however, refused to be drawn into the controversy over it.punjab Updated: Feb 28, 2017 23:48 IST
Army veterans in Punjab have stepped forward to fight a legal battle on behalf of Gurmehar Kaur, the daughter of an army martyr, who started a social media campaign against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The mother of the 20-year-old Delhi University student, whose defiant stand against the ABVP drew a volley of hate messages on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, however, refused to be drawn into the controversy over it.
When contacted, Rajvinder Kaur said, “No thanks... I do not want this controversy to go on.”
Punjab State Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association (Sewa) president Col (retd) Kuldip Singh Grewal vowed to fight a legal battle on Gurmehar’s behalf “till the matter reaches its logical conclusion”.
“Her opinion should be respected as she has the right to raise her voice,” he said. “No one should remain unaffected when a daughter is threatened with rape. The people of the country should raise their voice to protect the daughter of a martyr,” Col (retd) Tejinder Singh Bajwa, a member of the association, said.
Gurmehar’s father Capt Mandeep Singh was commissioned in the 49 Army Air Defence Regiment in 1991 and was serving with the 4 Rashtriya Rifles battalion when he died fighting militants on August 6, 1999.
Brigadier (retd) Ashwini Kumar, former commanding officer of the 3 Rashtriya Rifles battalion, who was serving in the area when the attack on Capt Mandeep’s company took place, said, “The Captain and his men fought against militants with great courage.”
Mandeep’s brother Davinderdeep Singh, a professor at a college in Nakodar near Gurmehar’s home town Jalandhar, said his brother would have stood like a rock behind her. “She is entitled to her opinion... she did not say anything anti-national,” he said.
Meanwhile, a number of ex-servicemen and representatives of various organisations condemned the rape threat to Gurmehar and appealed to the Delhi government to provide “proper security” to her.
At Dhuri in Sangrur, Aam Aadmi Party MP Bhagwant Mann also extended support to Gurmehar and alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its student affiliate ABVP are “spreading saffronisation in educational institutions”.
PU clash also in focus
“The ABVP has no right to distribute certificates of nationalism. I oppose their actions at DU and also at Panjab University in Chandigarh.” He was referring to a clash of the ABVP with a group named Students for Society at PU on Monday, in which four students from each side were arrested.
Though Gurmehar, on Tuesday, declared through a Facebook post of withdrawing her campaign which she had started against the ABVP, Mann also tweeted, “Gurmehar, tere khoon mein desh bhakti hai...ham aapke sath hain...u r the pride of country..keep fighting wid enemies like ur dad (sic).”
“I also called her and her mother up to express my support. I will raise the matter in Parliament during the next session,” Mann added.
In Hoshiarpur, Dal Khalsa’s youth wing, Sikh Youth of Punjab, blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its ABVP for intolerance in the country. In a statement, its president Paramjit Singh Tanda said, “Ever since the Modi government has come to power, ABVP activists have become all the more high-headed. After creating trouble in Ramjas College in Delhi, they perpetrated violence in Panjab University, Chandigarh.”