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Legal action against ABVP and DUSU for violence against Ramjas

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On 21 and 22 February 2017 members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) threw stones on students and faculty of Ramjas College and subjected them to brute violence as a mark of protest against a seminar on 'cultures of protest' organised by the Ramjas College Literary Society. For ABVP and DUSU, this seminar, its organisers, and its participants were 'anti-national' because they had invited, amongst others, JNU students Mr Umar Khalid and Ms Shehla Rashid to this seminar. It must be noted that Mr Khalid had been invited to talk about his doctoral work on adivasis in a panel titled 'Unveiling the State: Regions in Conflict' and that Ms Rashid was slated to participate in a panel discussion titled on student politics. The seminar itself was scheduled to witness participation by well-respected academicians like Prof Satish Deshpande, Prof Sucheta Mahajan, Dr Radhika Chopra, Dr Ananya Vajpeyi, and Dr Dilip Simeon on a variety of topics.

Without bothering to consider this, or to engage in a dialogue with organisers of this seminar, the ABVP and DUSU chose to adopt planned violence and molestation as the medium of their protest. This dastardly violence against students and lecturers as well as destruction of public property must be condemned unequivocally. The attack is not as much on individuals as on colleges and universities, and their long-standing right to open debate, critical thinking, and self-determination. As students and lecturers fight back, we demand the following:

  1. The Proctor of the University of Delhi, the Dean of Students' Welfare, and the Principal, Ramjas College initiate strict legal action, suo moto, against the perpetrators of this violence in a timely fashion. The University must protect its own students and lecturers from the violence and bullying tactics of organisations like ABVP and DUSU.
  2. Strict disciplinary action be initiated against those office bearers of DUSU who have been publicly identified as involved in perpetrating this violence. 
  3. Delhi Police commence investigation immediately into the perpetrators of this violence, as well as into the violence meted by its officers and constabulary onto students and journalists demanding action.

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