DU college scuffle: Delhi Police admits lapses on its part

RSTV Bureau
FILE: New Delhi: Police detain students after their clash between two student outfit at Delhi University north campus in New Delhi, Feb 22, 2017. Photo - PTI

FILE: New Delhi: Police detain students after their clash between two student outfit at Delhi University north campus in New Delhi, Feb 22, 2017.
Photo – PTI

As tension prevailed in Delhi University’s North Campus after clashes on Wednesday between two student outfits, the Delhi Police admitted that few of its personnel acted “unprofessionally” in tackling the clashes between RSS-affiliated ABVP and the Left-affiliated AISA.

Clashes had broken out over the seminar invite to JNU student Umar Khalid and former JNU Student’s Union leader Shehla Rashid. ABVP was raising protest demanding the cancellation of invite to both the students.

Addressing AISA activists protesting in front of the Police Headquarters in New Delhi, Special Commissioner (Southwest) Dependra Pathak promised action against the “errant cops”, saying a DCP-rank official is conducting a probe in the issue.

“During yesterday’s protest in North Campus it has come to notice that a few cops had indulged in inappropriate and unprofessional action. An inquiry has been instituted and strict action will be taken,” Pathak, who is also the Delhi Police spokesperson, said.

When the protesters asked him about ABVP activists allegedly seen standing atop police vans during the violence yesterday, Pathak said, “If this has happened it is wrong”.

Special Commissioner (Law and Order) SBK Singh also came out to meet the students and assured a fair investigation into the matter. He said several complaints have been received from both the sides and an FIR was registered yesterday.

“We want you to take part in the investigation. We will record your statement and assure you that we will take legal action. If there are 10 complaints on the same incident, we don’t register 10 FIRs but record all statements,” he told the students.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed in the campus even as members of students’ groups protested at many places, including at the Delhi Police Headquarters, seeking action against the ABVP. Classes remained suspended at Ramjas College since morning even as the authorities claimed it was due to “administrative reasons” and not because of the tense situation.

JNU scholar student Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were invited to take part in a session during a two-day seminar on ‘Culture of Protest’ organised by Wordcraft, Ramjas college’s Literary Society.

FILE: New Delhi: Police detaining ABVP activists after their clash with AISA students at Delhi University in Delhi, Feb 22, 2017. Photo - PTI

FILE: New Delhi: Police detaining ABVP activists after their clash with AISA students at Delhi University in Delhi, Feb 22, 2017.
Photo – PTI

But the RSS’ student-wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) locked down the Ramjas college seminar room and allegedly pelted stones on Tuesday, the first day of seminar in protest against an invitation to JNU students to address a seminar, calling them “anti-nationals”.

On Wednesday afternoon, protesting against the ABVP’s conduct, a section of teachers, students and members of left-affiliated All India Students’ Association (AISA) decided to march to Maurice Nagar police station demanding action against ABVP members for alleged vandalism.

According to the reports, the two groups got into scuffle after the ABVP members allegedly stopped them from marching ahead and also locked the students and teachers inside the college.

Several students and journalists were reported to have suffered injuries in the clashes.

Khalid, along with former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and three other students was charged with sedition by Delhi Police last year February after an event in JNU where alleged “anti-national” slogans were raised. The issue had led to a major protest by the Opposition political parties even inside the Parliament criticising Delhi Police for its approach.

More than an year on, the Delhi Police hasn’t been able to file even a charge sheet in the case.