Delhi University’s Ramjas College clash has taken a serious turn on its second day of protest. The students were thrashed, beaten, and dragged away by the police in order to separate the students clashing among themselves. Both the Student wings, ABVP and AISA is blaming the police for failing to arrest the main culprit.
It all started after two Jawaharlal Nehru University students, Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were called in the seminar named ‘Cultures Of Protest’ organised in Ramjas College. A two day seminar was organised on 21st and 22nd February, with an idea of healthy discussion about freedom of speech and expressing thoughts and views. The first day seminar went peacefully whose major highlights were very effective and highly appreciated that discussed the issue that students should be given freedom to express their thoughts and views without getting them into the zones of ‘anti nationalism’.
On the second day two students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Umar khalid and Shehla Rashid were called as the Speakers. Umar Khalid was arrested on sedition charges last year for supporting and calling out anti-national slogans in the JNU campus. Shehla Rashid, the leader in JNU’s left wing All India Students Association (AISA), was the major face to call protest against the students who were arrested and was the one who was responsible to take them out from jail.
On the second day when Umar and Shehla were suppose to come, some members of ABVP marched inside the auditorium breaking things around the auditorium.They snatched pen and paper from the students and teared posters of Umar and Shehla. The Students claimed that the ABVP goons locked some students and teachers inside the auditorium and cut the power supply of the auditorium. Also they started pelting stones in protest of Umar and Shehla calling them anti-national and raised slogans like “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai.” Tough all these accusations are denied by the ABVP saying it had no role to play in it as it was students and teachers that didn’t wanted the JNU students to speak.
The students organisation left wing AISA then started a silent and peaceful march to Maurice Nagar police station to protest ABVP’s act and urging the police to arrest the culprits. But this peaceful march turned into the battleground of ABVP and AISA where students thrashed and beat each other. The police trying to stop the clash had to make a lathi charge, which injured many students. While AISA claimed the police to be afraid of RSS backed ABVP and not arresting them, the ABVP members denied any role in the violence. Many students were injured seriously in the lathi charge while others screamed and yelled on the opposition wing.
Ramjas college principal, Rajender Prasad said, “While the seminar will continue, We decided to cancel the participation of these two students. It is not that we do not advocate freedom of speech but it had to be done keeping peace and harmony of campus in mind.”
The clash of student wings and physical violence is not new in JNU campus. The fire between ABVP and AISA has always burned JNU but this time the flames of violence has reached Delhi University which again makes the same topic raised about whether University spaces should be provided for freedom of speech or not and whether the zone of anti nationals be specified or not. However, nobody has been detained by the police yet.