ANTI-MODI PROTESTS ROCK DU CAMPUS
Angry and militant students rocked the university against the entry of Narendra Modi in the campus
Hardnews Bureau Delhi
While the heavily fortified campus premises of the Sriram College of Commerce (SRCC) was sanitised with unprecedented police fortification, with armed and equipped riot cops swarming all over, along with water cannon vehicles and brutal lathicharges and top officers ‘supervising’ the show, it was not really a cake walk for Narendra Modi as he showcased himself as a ‘corporate and development’ brand in Delhi. A sharply divided and polarised Delhi University was rocked by massive, relentless and fiery protests against Modi’s visit, with hundreds of non-violent students and teachers facing continuous water cannons and brutal lathicharge. Scores of students and teachers were severely beaten up and others badly injured, even while there was no real provocation.
A large number of students, many of them not affiliated to any party or outfit, joined the anti-Modi protests. Several teachers too joined. There was big and strong participation of Left student groups including DSU, AISA, AISF, SFI, KYS, JNUSU, among others, including Students’ Islamic Organisation.
Angry and militant students shouting slogans, shook the barricades repeatedly, climbed onto them, and a few times dismantled one barricade on the far left. However, not one act of violence was instigated by the protesters, including scores of girls and boys; no stones were thrown, there were no violent skirmishes. Most of them were seen angrily arguing with the cops, including officers, and questioning Modi’s credentials, despite the Gujarat genocide of 2002, where scores of women were also raped. The facebook and social network was filled with appeals to join the movement against Modi. One appeal reminded everybody that while “we remember” the girl who was raped inside a bus, her body brutalised, no one should forget Kasaur Bano of Naroda Patiya in Ahmedabad whose stomach was slashed open by Bajrang Dal top leaders, owing allegiance to Modi.
In this high tension zone, sometimes, empty plastic water bottles were thrown at the police. One ABVP student who climbed the water cannon, with tacit police support, was hit with a chappal from the Left camp and an empty plastic bottle followed. The anti-Modi protest was continuous since late afternoon, passionate, unrelenting and strong, with slogans against “mass murderer fascist Modi” -- but there were no violent skirmishes with the cops.
Two students were literally dragged from behind the barricades, beaten up by hordes of cops, dragged on the street while being beaten up, and then dumped inside a police van. Another was literally taken hostage without any real reason, and then beaten up and taken inside the camp of a pro-Modi ABVP-BJP group
And yet, the police, in riot gear, under sudden instructions from the top brass of Delhi Police, quite unreasonably, suddenly charged at the anti-Modi protesters, beating up all and sundry brutally and again and again. Even the students were surprised by this sudden violence on part of the police. Despite the brutality, the students’ regrouped and did not react violently – not even once. The protests continued, with more fire and energy.