‘We are not going to take it lying down’
Despite the angry but peaceful protests against Narendra Modi, surprisingly, the Delhi Police has slapped criminal charges against eight students and an associate professor who teaches at Hindu College
Sadiq Naqvi Delhi
A day after the spirited and angry but non-violent protests against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘fortified and sanitised’ visit to SRCC in the Delhi University campus, the Delhi Police has surprisingly slapped criminal charges against eight students and an associate professor who teaches at Hindu College. The FIR lodged at Maurice Nagar police station has been registered under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code.
When a group of teachers and students went to the police station demanding a copy of the FIR, they were refused a copy and sent back. “We were told that we can’t get a copy of the FIR and that we should check it on the website,” said Karen Gabriel, Associate Professor, St Stephen’s College. “The action comes after we were threatened by the police the previous night. An ACP rank officer, one Anil Yadav, told us that we will regret this protest,” she added.
Hardnews reporters were present at the scene of the protest on February 6 in Delhi University. Clearly, the students were angry at a “mass murderer being invited to the campus” but there were uniformly peaceful. There was neither any rioting, nor any deadly weapons; not a stone was thrown at the police which went on a completely unprovoked lathicharge. It was the police which brutally beat up some of the protestors, and at least in three cases, allowed ABVP groupies to manhandle them even while a mob of cops beat up these students. The ABVP cadre were openly jumping barricades, taunting and abusing girls and boys of the Left camp on the other side, while the police, including top officers, gave them a free hand.
We were told that we can’t get a copy of the FIR and that we should check it on the website. The action comes after we were threatened by the police the previous night. An ACP rank officer, one Anil Yadav, told us that we will regret this protest’
The police bias was transparent. Even as the big gathering protesting against Modi’s visit were kept behind the barricades with a huge entourage of the police including the riot police keeping them away, pushing them with their batons, the other small group, the pro-Modi camp, was allowed a free run. They were heard abusing and threatening the protestors. So much so that two girls who live in the hostels on the campus decided to spend the night at a relatives house after they were followed and threatened by some people. “Not only these groups, but the policemen were also passing obscene comments at us,” Gabriel informed. “It seems that the police and the DU administration have decided that certain groups can be treated in such an obscene manner,” she added.