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Protesting for release of GN Saibaba, Delhi students 'assaulted' by ABVP, cops

By Our Representative 

India’s premier human rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has said, it “stands in solidarity with students from Delhi University (DU) who have been “bravely resisting Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad’s (ABVP’s) repeated attempts at turning educational campuses in the country into hostile and polarised spaces fuelled by the language of religious intolerance and Brahminical patriarchy.”
In a statement, referring to the 1st December incident, in which DU students campaigning for the release of Dr GN Saibaba, former DU professor and 90% physically challenged, languishing in jail for alleged Maoist links, were beaten up by ABVP members using lathis and bricks, NAPM said, “In response to this dastardly act, students organised a protest meet against such hooliganism the following day, which is when ABVP goons attacked students again.”
“More recently”, it added, “A group of students had organised a sit-in on the 8th of December to appeal for peace and for the right to democratic dissent where they were struck by ABVP members without provocation.”
Regretting that “Delhi Police’s response to the ABVP violence is appalling”, NAPM said, “Following its established patterns, instead of taking action against the actual culprits, the Police assaulted and detained the students peacefully opposing these attacks, thereby continuing its streak of enabling ABVP miscreants who instigate such acts in university campuses.”
Asserting that this is the latest of instances “where the ABVP, the RSS-BJP’s student wing, has created violent disturbances in an educational institution”, NAPM noted, “Over the last 7 years, wherever students and teachers have tried to organise meetings and conventions on themes reflecting the spirit of the Indian Constitution, such attacks have become expected and have only increased in frequency over time.”
Believes NAPM, “ABVP has had a long history of opposing the culture of debate, democracy and peaceful dissent which colleges and universities are supposed to foster, and has instead created an environment of needless violence and fear. By refusing to lodge FIRs against the accused, the police force keeps putting common students in danger and fails to fulfil its responsibility in keeping everyone safe.”
“Knowing that they will get away with intimidation and assault each time has emboldened ABVP into scaling up the extent of their attacks with complete impunity”, NAPM said, demanding, that the authorities must “uphold the Constitutional rights to education, dissent and remediation, and take strict action against the recurrent crimes of the saffron brigade.”
“We hope that relevant authorities return campuses to the students, who want to learn, and put a stop to this culture of volatility and violence, perpetuated by systemic efforts to curb all diversity of thoughts and practice”, it insisted.

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