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Intensified repression in UP? Cops, ABVP 'attack' BHU anti-sexual assault protest

Counterview Desk 

Civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR)* statement condemning "the joint attack by police and the BJP's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)" on Benaras Hindu University (BHU) students protesting against sexual assault in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-BHU.


On 5th November 2023, students at Benaras Hindu University (BHU) have been met with naked oppression from the joint forces of the police and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), during the course of a protest being waged by the students against the sexual assault of a student of IIT-BHU and institutional apathy and disregard towards rampant manifestations of Brahmanical patriarchy. The incident, which took place on 2nd November was met with cold responses not just from the university administration but also from the police and other state institutions.
Yogi Adityanath-ruled Uttar Pradesh is no different from the central Narendra Modi government when dealing with issues of rape, sexual assault and Brahmanical patriarchy, as seen with the recent protests by Olympic-medalist wrestlers against BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Such is the firm unity of the so-called ‘double-engine sarkaar.’
Anti-caste leader Dr Ambedkar had stated, “Unity is meaningless without the accompaniment of women. Education is fruitless without educated women and agitation is incomplete without the strength of women.”
When students showed their anger towards the apathy of the state and university administration by burning effigies, the police nabbed the effigy, abducted activist student Roshan and then provided the space and protection for ABVP students to attack the protesting students. Roshan was released hours later after relentless demonstrations from the students. This is part of the continuous anti-people activities of the Yogi Adityanath government and the suppression of democratic voices all over the country.
Be it the arrest of nearly 80-year old retired IPS officer SR Darapuri for participating in a peaceful protest demanding the right to Panchayati land for Dalits in Gorakhpur along with various other kisan and Dalit activists, or the recent National Investigation Agency (NIA) raids all over the country in general and against students of Bhagat Singh Students’ Morcha (BSM), a constituent of CASR and a democratic students union in BHU, the purpose has been to silence all democratic voices.
Yogi Adityanath infamously prefers to bulldoze the houses of democratic activists and arrest student activists for merely sending an email to fix a meeting with the Chief Minister to discuss unemployment of youth, such as the recent arresting of activists from Sanyukt Yuva Morcha.
A few weeks ago, in October, in University of Allahabad, MA student Vivek Kumar, coming from Dalit community, was protesting against the arrests of fellow students and was brutally beaten by the proctor Rakesh Singh from a lathi he took from a policeman.
In Aligarh Muslim University, FIRs were filed against 4 students for a pro-Palestine rally even though Indian state’s own international position is in support of an independent state of Palestine! Indian state is attempting to make protest in itself a crime, a gross negation of democratic rights.
Outside of Uttar Pradesh, state-backed ABVP attacks are also on the rise, with constituents of CASR itself being attacked by ABVP goons on 1st December 2022 after they had finished a campaign regarding the incarceration of Prof GN Saibaba. Students of Bhagat Singh Chatra Ekta Manch (bsCEM), a constituent of CASR, were attacked and needed to be taken to the hospital where the police allowed and gave space for 50-60 goons associated with the ABVP to barge into the hospital too.
In December of 2019, the police had done an even bigger intervention against students with the brutal onslaught of tear gas and batons and an all-out invasion of Jamia Millia Islamia University after students protesting the CAA-NRC bills had pushed them back days prior, all in the name of dispersing protestors.
The police invasion of university spaces, the abductions of students by the police and the unprecedented deployment of NIA to harass student activists along with police-backed attacks by ABVP are clear indications of the intensifying degrees of state repression under the Brahmanical Hindutva fascist rule of BJP government.
The deployment of armed police forces for any protests and pre-emptive detentions of student activists have become commonplace. Police presence on university campuses is now being normalized to ensure the curbing of any democratic dissent. This same police is part of the state-RSS nexus, of which ABVP is merely an organ, which commits joint violence against democratic voices of students.
Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) vehemently condemns the joint attack by the police and ABVP against protesting students at BHU as well as the abduction of student Roshan. It demands the recalling of all police forces against protesting students to allow the students to exercise their democratic right to protest and an end to the attempts at creating a police state within universities.
*AIRSO, AISA, AISF, APCR,BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, Disha, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Forum Against Repression Telangana, Fraternity ,IAPL, Innocence Network, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA, Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, , Morcha Patrika, NAPM, NBS, Nishant Natya Manch, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad, Samajwadi Lok Manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Manch, SFI, United Against Hate, United Peace Alliance, WSS, Y4S



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