The Delhi University administration has declared 23th February a holiday in the wake of the violent protests which took place in and around Maurice Nagar in Delhi University’s North Campus during with 20 students and 1 professor have been injured.

Ramjas College’s literary society on Tuesday was hosting a talk on ‘the culture of dissent’, where Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid, research scholars from JNU had been invited to speak. Members from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) disrupted the event in protest against the invitation extended to both the students, saying that they are ‘anti nationals.’

On Wednesday, students from Delhi University gathered to protest against the disruption of the event at Ramjas College, during which clashes between students and members of the ABVP broke out. Students have claimed that members of the ABVP threw stones, broken bricks and bottles on them, as a result of which several students had been injured and taken to hospital. All India Student Association (AISA) member, Shehla Rashid too was hit by a stone; and has also claimed that she was attacked by the police.

Women present at the protest have accused ABVP members of assaulting and threatened them with rape. A student present at the protest, on the condition of anonymity, spoke to The Citizen, providing an account of what transpired.

‘On reaching there, the first thing I saw was 4-5 guys from ABVP standing on top of the police van holding the Indian flag and shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai.’ We were having a very normal protest, like always we were raising slogans and members were giving speeches about the current atmosphere in the country. In the middle of this people from the ABVP would push or pull people from our side of the divider. While Kawalpreet Kaur (AISA, President) was talking she was pulled. A big stone was thrown at Shehla while she was speaking. They were randomly throwing stones and plastic bottles. Although the police had made a barricade, members from the ABVP would keep breaching it, it was very evident that ABVP had impunity.

We decided to gather at Maurice Nagar police station, since the police was refusing to file a FIR and also discouraging us from doing so, saying that if we filed a FIR, so would ABVP. After a while the SHO came out and assured the students that an investigation is being carried out. And 5 minutes later they started lathi charging us, it was like a stampede. People were falling over each other, being walked over and several had their clothes torn. The ABVP people didn’t even spare the faculty.’

Many students have claimed that the police personnel present did not stop members of the ABVP from attacking them. Journalists who were covering the protest too were attacked and their camera’s broken. Videos taken and shared on social media show police personnel pushing students into police vans and women being attacked by male constables. The AAP has also come out in support of the protesters and accused the police of shielding ABVP members.

At the time of writing this article, there were claims of late night raids being planned by the ABVP members on those identified from protests and, false rumours of Section 144 having been imposed in the area.

The Democratic Teachers’ Front has released a statement condemning ’the naked violence used by the ABVP with police patronage to assault the very idea of a university yesterday and today.’‘Janhastakshep: A campaign against fascist designs’ in its press release condemned ‘the unconstitutional criminal complicity of Delhi Police, in violation of constitutional provisions of aiding and abetting the criminal activities of ABVP goons’ and expressed its solidarity with the Delhi University community.

In response to the assault, JNU’s United Left Front, has called for a demonstration protest ( 23rd Feb) to ‘Rise in rage against the massive violence unleashed by ABVP in Delhi University, with the active support of Delhi Police’, at the Delhi Police Head Quarters (ITO) at 11 am.