Students clash day after ABVP ruckus, cops crack down

The Ramjas College called off the seminar being held on campus.

"Now, Delhi Police tells the organisers (students and teachers of Ramjas College) that it will not protect me, or the organisers from any attack by ABVP".

Delhi University's Ramjas College was forced to cancel a seminar on Tuesday after violent protests broke out in campus over participation of JNU students Shehla Rashid and Umar Khalid, who was accused of shouting anti-national slogans during an event in JNU a year ago. The police came to know when the college alerted them about the plans for the protest.

Students from Ramjas College and other Delhi University colleges say this is a "breach of freedom of expression".

The two were invited to talk during the two-day seminar on the "culture of protests", organised by the college's English Department. Yogit Rathi said, "We just wanted college administration to check their identity cards".

When organisers tried to carry on the seminar amid the disruption, the protestors reportedly hurled stones at the venue and cut off the electricity. They were not from our college. Umar Khalid was invited to speak on Tuesday and former JNU students' union vice-president Shehla Rashid Shora, on Wednesday.

"We have cancelled the participation of Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid after students raised objections", Prasad told Hindustan Times, adding that police too had advised them to do the same anticipating law and order problems. "Such is the state of democracy in our country".

A year ago on February 9, Umar Khalid along with few other JNU students had organised an event to protest against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Violence aggravated at the college campus with stones and bricks thrown at the college windows by the right-wing student group while students and teachers are locked inside the conference room, sources said. The High Court is hearing the case after an appeal by the students.

  • Arturo Norris