Student protests in Delhi, which started with clashes at Ramjas college, continue to ragel as politicians and prominent personalities take sides over the students’ right to protest peacefully. What started as a scuffle between two warring student union parties has now turned into a full-fledged political fight.
The fight originally broke out between members of All India Students Association (AISA) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on February 22 after Jawaharlal Nehru (JNU) student Umar Khalid was not allowed to speak inside Ramjas college campus at an event.
The incident worsened after a ‘Tiranga’ march was organised by the ABVP on Monday, in a bid to invoke nationalist sentiments on the campus.
Meanwhile, the spotlight fell on a Kargil martyr’s daughter and Delhi University student, Gurmehar Kaur, who was trolled and threatened with rape by alleged ABVP members after she raised her voice against the clashes.
Here are the highlights so far:
- Amid a raging controversy over free speech, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said he supports freedom of expression, but within the legal framework. "I believe in freedom of expression but it has to be within reasonable legal framework," he said.
Watch video of ABVP's march below:
- Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel today jumped to the defence of sportspersons under fire for their comments criticising DU student Gurmehar Kaur, saying the country is proud of them and they shouldn't be treated as "illiterates". -PTI
- A plea seeking action against the policemen who had allegedly assaulted students and journalists during the violence at Ramjas college last week has been moved in the Delhi High Court. The plea seeks direction to constitute an independent committee of senior cops of Delhi Police to probe the incident.
- Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur was provided police protection after she complained about receiving online threats (death and rape) after her placard protest went viral. Kaur was a part of a campaign where she had put out a message on her Facebook profile picture, “Not afraid of ABVP”. Two women constables of the Punjab Police were deployed to provide security to Kaur.
- Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap reacted on the controversy and said that the social media platforms are being used to create polarisation in the nation. “Social media is being used to do that and we are all participating in it and perpetuating it,” he said. Vidya Balan, Swara Bhaskar, Minister Anil Vij, Virender Sehwag, Kiren Rijiju, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Randeep Hooda and Babita Phogat are few other prominent personalities who spoke about the incident.
- Gurmehar eventually withdrew from her social media campaign against the ABVP on Tuesday after the threats refused to subside.
- The Janata Dal (United) (JDU) reacted on the ongoing controversy and said it is a complete breakdown of democratic constitutional structure which spilled campus politics hijacking students’ cause.
- Security has been tightened outside the DU campus in the wake of protest march that was taken out by different factions of the college. Students and teachers from DU and JNU held marches today, while ABVP on the other side has called for a protest rally tomorrow.