Nationwide stir against JNU attack continues
Several student organisations, civil society groups and parties cutting across political lines took out rallies across the country on Tuesday to protest against the violence in New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
In Mumbai, hundreds of protesters who have been demonstrating at the iconic Gateway of India since Sunday night were moved by the police on Tuesday, following which the protest was called off.
In the morning, several protesters, including students and women, were moved to Azad Maidan in police vans. DCP zone 1 Sangram Singh Nishandar said: “I requested them (the protesters) to shift to Azad Maidan as the demonstration was choking the roads and creating traffic issues.”
However, Kapil Agarwal, a protester, told news agency ANI that they were forcibly removed. “We were forcibly shifted to Azad Maidan by Police. But now we have called off our ‘occupy Gateway of India’ protests, it was a successful protest. Our resistance will continue, we have a long line up of programmes.”
In Nagpur, students , under the aegis of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Vidyarthi Sanghatna, a local body of students, gathered outside the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University’s front gate condemning the JNU violence. In Pune, NSUI members defaced an ABVP board outside its office.
In Kolkata, a clash broke out between the students of Jadavpur University and police personnel during a protest. In a viral video, the police were purportedly seen baton-charging the protestors. However, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Sudip Sarkar dismissed the video, saying: “While we were chasing BJP workers some Jadavpur University students entered the mob. We could not differentiate between students and BJP workers who were burning tyres. We did not lathi-charge students.” The Students Federation of India (SFI) led a rally from Presidency University. In West Burdwan district’s Durgapur, SFI protesters blockaded the rail tracks for some time.
In Uttar Pradesh, clashes broke out between NSUI and ABVP workers in Agra.
The ABVP’s city unit submitted a memorandum to BR Ambedkar University registrar KN Singh, demanding a ban on the leaders of left wing student organisations on the campus. “Students are busy with preparations for their examinations. We want that academic atmosphere is not affected in the university. Administration should take appropriate steps and ban any anti-social left wing activity on the campus,” said Agra ABVP unit president Aakash Rathore.
NSUI’s Bilal Ahmed, however, accused ABVP of attempting to disturb peace in the university. “The university administration has been favouring ABVP and the university registrar went out of the way to accept the memorandum despite prohibitory orders banning any such activities there,” said Bilal.
The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) also announced protests in solidarity with JNU students on January 8 and 9 in all states of the region. “It was a barbaric attack on the innocent students at JNU and we strongly condemn it. Such violence at an academic institution is unacceptable,” NESO advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said in New Delhi.
In Hyderabad’s Osmania University, scores of students gathered to burn effigies of the ABVP to mark their protest
Several masked people, armed with sticks and stones, barged into the university campus spreading chaos and terror as they targeted students and teachers on Sunday evening. JNU students’ union blamed members of the ABVP. ABVP, however, blamed the left-leaning students.