Media Persons Beaten, Threatened in Campus by ABVP
Satender Awana, Second from left. One of the slogans during his campaign was "Fortuner me rawana
NEW DELHI: A cameraman was thrashed and two female reporters heckled under the watch of the newly appointed ABVP President of DUSU, Satender Awana, when the former were trying to conduct an interview with University students outside the Arts Faculty over their views on sexual ambiguities surrounding the issue of ‘consent’.
The two women reporters, Esha Paul and Urmi Bhattacharya, were asking students questions at the pedestrian walk outside the Arts faculty in DU when an ABVP supporter accosted them and told them that what they were doing is “immoral” and they haven’t any permission to do so. When the reporters confronted him and said they didn’t require any permission, the supporter called up the DUSU President, who immediately took the extreme point of view and started threatening the women. In the meanwhile the cameraman was roughed up too.
A sample of the kind of questions students were being asked--“If your partner is drunk and says yes to sex, but then passes out while you’re about to have sex – is it okay to proceed to have sex with them?”
The reporters in their article, which they wrote later on, said that, as the argument went on, a couple of other girls were called on the spot, one of them the DUSU Treasurer, Anjali Rana and other a student, Priya Sharma. They too castigated the reporters for having low morals and said that they were “ashamed” of having read such questions.
The ordeal for the three journalists continued for a while before they were all taken to the Maurice Nagar Police station, where the SHO Aarti Sharma supported the journalists and was described as a “godsend” by them.
Two women professors from Miranda College also joined the commotion at the station and supported the aggrieved reporters. When Awana said that the reporters didn’t have their permission, the teachers replied “They don’t have to, it’s an open campus, and no by-law gives you the right to stop them”, whereas the SHO countered the charge leveled by the DU girl student, who claimed to have been deeply offended by the quality of the questions, by saying “Don’t you watch movies? Which was the last movie you watched which didn’t have scenes of any form of sex or an actress in a mini dress?”
The SHO refused to take a complaint from the DUSU President and let the three reporters go.