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Archives for : Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad

Open letter to Delhi Police for action against the police for sexual abuse, violence and initimidation #Vaw

Dated: February 9, 2013

 

 

OPEN LETTER TO DELHI POLICE AND OTHER AUTHORITIES

DEMANDING ACTION AGAINST THE POLICE

FOR SEXUAL ABUSE, VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION

 

Shri Neeraj Kumarji,

 

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are shocked by the reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence perpetrated by the police (in tacit association with some supporters of Narendra Modi), through its words, gestures and actions, on students who were protesting outside Shri Ram College of Commerce and at Maurice Nagar Police Station on February 6, 2013.

 

We are also dismayed by the vindictive, undemocratic and preemptive manner in which the police have filed ‘rioting’ and other criminal cases on February 7, 2013, against the protestors and victims of sexual harassment after they had filed FIRs against police harassment, while allowing the errant police personnel and others involved in taunting and beating up the protesting students to go free. The FIR is clearly meant to intimidate the students and frighten them into silence so that they do not file any further complaints against the criminal conduct of the police and Modi supporters. With the threat of criminal charges over their heads, if they so much as admit to being present at the protest to exercise their democratic rights, and especially when they are not guilty of any wrongdoing, students will be scared to complain against the ghastly sexual harassment.

 

On 6th of February, there was a large protest outside SRCC, Delhi University, against the invitation of and talk by Mr Modi by SRCC Students Union. The protest was organised by various students’ groups and individuals. The road in front of SRCC had 3 rows of barricades on each side, some of which were subsequently broken. Not only was the Delhi police  extremely vicious in their handling of the situation, their actions  were also  highly sexist and communal. They passed lewd remarks about women standing near the barricade. Some made kissing gestures and noises, asked women to come closer and talk to them. They also very openly stared and laughed at women in a way that was clearly sexist and disgusting, whistling and winking at and even groping the female students and beating them (and the boys) up sadistically with lathis. In addition water cannons were also used against them. They used the choicest abuses, with ‘kuttia’ (bitch) being among the mildest. When a woman student demanded that women police officers be present at the barricade as well to confront women students, she was told ‘aap aurat kahaan se hain’ (in what way are you a woman?). Women were also told repeatedly to give up as they were too weak to break barricades.

In all this harassment, students supporting Mr Modi and the police seemed to be  in connivance with each other, and literally amusing themselves in their harassment of the female protestors Some students (apparently from the ABVP) who were supporting Mr. Modi seemed to have the approval and indulgence of the police. They were allowed on the other side of the barricade. A few even climbed on to the police water cannons and danced on them as they were aimed at the protestors. Some openly threatened female students with Gujarat-like consequences – “Jo Gujarat mein huya vaise tujh me ghusa doonga” (Will thrust into you, as was  done in Gujarat), while brandishing a lathi and similar objects.  But none of these people was picked up by the police or detained. Instead, after lathi charging students, laughing and joking as they did so, the police engaged in picking up some of the anti-Modi protestors (including young women) and pushing them into a crowd of pro-Modi youth who then beat them in full view of the police. Some anti-Modi protestors were picked up and taken to the police station, and beaten up on the way (including on the head and groin with lathis). These included some students who had not crossed any barricades and were only shouting slogans and then protesting at the police behaviour. At the police station, women students who had come to enquire about others who had been picked up by the police were groped and felt up by the police when they tried to enter. (See a few eyewitness accounts in reference cited below)   

We are outraged by the sexually abusive and violent behaviour of men in uniform, behavior that has no place in discharge of the ‘law and order’ duties of police. This behaviour is offensive and unacceptable, especially coming from those entrusted with the task of protecting the citizenry, and is compounded manifold by the police actually aiding lumpen elements in sexual harassment of young women.

 

Coming in the wake of the recent horrific gang rape in Delhi, this raises huge questions and concerns about the safety of women in Delhi. How can young students ever have the confidence to approach the police to register complaints about sexual violence when policemen themselves indulge in this kind of sexual abuse and permit sexual intimidation in their very presence?

 

In the evening, when some of us learnt these details, we called up Ms. Sindhu Pillai DCP/North and spoke to her on the phone. She was in complete denial, extremely hostile and blamed the students themselves.  Our concerns were simply dismissed with a response that we should “file a complaint,” with justification of the actions of the police. However, in the light of subsequent events, the real intent behind this advice was possibly to identify more protestors so that the police could file criminal cases against the students. Whom should victims of police sexual violence turn to when even senior women officers of DCP rank harbour notions that girls should be “controlled” and should not be out protesting on the streets?  What is it if not a reflection of the mindset that girls invite trouble upon themselves by simply being out?

 

It is an extremely grave and worrisome reflection on the administration of the police force that nothing seems to have changed on the ground, even after tens of thousands protested on the streets of Delhi barely a month ago. How many more crimes will it take, how many more women will have to suffer harassment and violence, and die gruesome deaths, before the police reforms itself, and imbibes gender sensitivity, discipline and a sense of duty and responsibility towards the common citizens of this country? How can we ensure that the police just does its job?

 

The lack of accountability of the police is one of the significant reasons for the rampant sexual violence in the city and country. If there is any political will to stop this, it must manifest itself through :

  • ·        an immediate withdrawal of the vindictive and intimidatory police FIR which will deter any student from coming forward to complain against sexual harassment;
  • ·        suspension of errant officers (the concerned SHOs, ACP and DCP) pending a transparent, and public, inquiry by officers who inspire public confidence.

 

Prompt and strict action alone can end this impunity. We demand that the state and central governments demonstrate their intent and sincerity to make Delhi a safe place. 

 

  1. Prof. Malini Bhattacharya, Ex Chairperson, NCW
  2. Prof Uma Chakravarti (Retd), Delhi University
  3. Brinda Karat, Former MP, Rajya Sabha
  4. Prof Nandini Sundar, Delhi University
  5. Prof Utsa Patnaik (Retd),, JNU
  6. Prof.Vimal Thorat
  7. Githa Hariharan, Author
  8. Prof Zoya Hasan, JNU
  9. Prof Mary E John, Centre for Women’s Studies and Development
  10. Seema Mustafa, Centre for Policy Analysis
  11. Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad
  12. Sehba Faruqui, AIDWA
  13. Annie Raja, NFIW
  14. Kalpana Mehta, SAHELI
  15. Kavita Shrivastava, PUCL
  16. Vrinda Grover, Advocate
  17. Prof Satish Deshpande, Delhi University
  18. Prof Prabhat Patnaik (Retd), JNU
  19. Prof. Amiya Bagchi, Institute of Development Studies Kolkata
  20. Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy, JNU
  21. Prof Anand Chakravarti (Retd), Delhi University
  22. Prof. Mukul Priyadarshini, Delhi University
  23. Prof. Rajni Palriwala, Delhi University
  24. Prof Dwijendra Nath Kalia, Delhi University
  25. Prof Sumangala Damodaran, Delhi University
  26. Prof Saumyajit Bhattacharya, Delhi University
  27. Prof Pragati Mahapatra, Delhi University
  28. Prof Ashwini Deshpande, Delhi University
  29. Prof Lata Singh, Delhi University
  30. Prof Shamsul Islam, Delhi University
  31. Prof Mona Das, Delhi University
  32. Prof Shashishekhar Singh, Delhi University
  33. Prof Inder Dutt, Delhi University
  34. Prof Tara Negi, Delhi University
  35. Prof Reyaz Ahmad, Delhi University
  36. Prof. Ravinder Jha, Delhi University
  37. Prof Rajiv Jha, Delhi University
  38. Jagmati Sangwan, AIDWA
  39. Prof Jayati Ghosh, JNU
  40. Prof Anuradha Chenoy, JNU
  41. Prof. Janaki Nair, JNU
  42. Prof Kumkum Roy, JNU
  43. Ranjana Nirula, CITU
  44. AR Sindhu, AIFAWH
  45. Prof SS Jodhka, JNU
  46. Prof. CP Chandrashekar, JNU
  47. Surajit Mazumdar, Ambedkar University, Delhi
  48. Prof Mritiunjoy Mohanty, IIM, Kolkata
  49. Ram Rahman, SAHMAT
  50. Prof. K J Mukherjee, JNU
  51. Prof. Praveen Jha, JNU
  52. Prof Mohan Rao, JNU
  53. Prof Girish Aggarwal, IIT, Delhi
  54. Arindam Banerjee, Ambedkar University, Delhi
  55. Nandini Rao
  56. Prof Ayesha Kidwai, JNU
  57. Prof Rohit, South Asian University (SAU)
  58. Smita Gupta, AIDWA
  59. Akhila Singh, Indian School of Women’s Studies and Development
  60. Prof. G Arunima, JNU
  61. Sadhna Arya
  62. Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizens Web
  63. Indira Chakravarthi, Women Against Sexual Violence & State Repression
  64. Prof. Archana Prasad, Jamia Millia Islamia
  65. Prof Vamsi Vakulabharanam, University of Hyderabad
  66. Shalini Gera, DU
  67. Prof Shamim Modi, TISS
  68. Justin Burrett (BCL)
  69. Mamata Dash, WSS, Delhi
  70. Komita Dhanda, JANAM
  71. Anurag Modi, Shramik Adivasi Sangthan
  72. Prof G Omkarnath, University of Hyderabad
  73. Asha Mishra (BGVS)
  74. Manoj Kulkarni (Tulika Samwad)
  75. Prof Anoop Saraya (AIIMS)
  76. Neelima Sharma (Artist)
  77. Sameer Dossani (Journalist)
  78. Dr Rahul Singh (Delhi)
  79. Dipa Sinha, JNU
  80. Shweta, JNU
  81. Sanjay Basu Mullick, All India Forum of Forest Movements (AIFFM)
  82. Zakia Soman, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan
  83. Suneeta Dhar
  84. Madhu Bala
  85. Rahul Roy
  86. Kamayani Bali Mahabal ( Human rights lawyer and activist )
  87. Uma V. Chandru, WSS Karnataka
  88. Shraddha Chickeru
  89. Geetha Nambisan
  90. Elisabeth Armstrong
  91. Madhurima Nundy
  92. Prof. N. Raghuram, President, IPU Teachers Association
  93. Prof Vijita S Aggarwal, IP University
  94. Bhargavi Dilipkumar, Delhi Forum
  95. Prof Shalini Arora, IGIT
  96. Annie Jangam
  97. Sarvesh Tripathi USMC, IP University
  98. Prof. Chhaya Ravi Kant, IP University
  99. Nakul Sawhney
  100.   Prof Ritoo Jerath, JNU
  101.  Vimal Bhai, NAPM
  102.   Kiran Shaheen, Women for Water Democracy
  103.    Anurag Modi, Shramik Adivasi Sangathan
  104.   Warisha Farasat, Lawyer
  105. Anjali Sinha
  106.  Nalini Vishwanathan

 

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Bhag Modi Bhag: 3 eyewitness accounts from a protest in DU

FEBRUARY 8, 2013

Guest posts by CHANDAN GOMESAKHIL KUMAR and an ANONYMOUS student; photographs by CHANDAN GOMES, SHAFAQ KHAN

Photo credit: Chandan Gomes

No Space for Dissent

by CHANDAN GOMES

On 6th January, 2013 the usually quaint Delhi University transformed into a battle ground of ideologies. The road leading to Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) where Narendra Modi was invited to speak at the Sri Ram Memorial Oration stands witness to all that went wrong day before yesterday.

The heavily fortified road was quiet until 3 pm, when a group of students marched through the faculty of Arts towards the gate opening right across SRCC. They were intercepted by a Delhi Police Unit close to the gate where every effort was made to contain them. In the brief tussle that followed, the DP Unit was overpowered and the protesters spilled onto the road raising slogans against the ‘Hriday Samrat’. Three rows of barricades were placed on either sides and in the middle stood a large number of Delhi Police personals armed with lathis and tear gas shells. By 3:30 the crowds had swelled and one knew that these young men and women will not go down without a fight.

Photo credit: Chandan Gomes

Barricades were rattled and black flags were waved. It was heartening to see so many women at the forefront of the protest. But it was equally disheartening to see them being subjected to sexist remarks by members of the very police force that claims to protect them. I noticed so many police men smirking, cracking indecent jokes and passing lewd comments in murmurs and whispers. And soon they were joined by ABVP/BJP activists who left no stones unturned to intimidate and humiliate those who were protesting.

While Modi supporters merrily loitered in the area where the police forces were stationed, those protesting against him were being subjected to water cannons and lathi charges. Many protestors were detained by the Police, some of whom were dragged over the barricades and shoved into a police van that was surrounded by Modi loyalists who attacked these unarmed, injured men. A young lady was also detained who too bore the wrath of their hatred – she was abused, mocked and subjected to a barrage of obscene comments. And all this was happening right in front of the press who chose to ignore this facet in their coverage of the event.

Yes the protestors were fiery and yes their body language was aggressive, but they did not resort to violence. Most of them were trying to push the barricades to move a little closer to the SRCC main gate. It is sad and shameful that there is no space for dissent for these young men and women in the very University that they belong to.

But there is a silver lining to the darkest of clouds – as these young men and women bore the brunt of mindless police action, they did not forget to help each other. They gave shoulder to those who were injured, they formed human chains. They shared stories and memories. For they knew they were bound to each other by compassion and empathy. Unfortunately our friends with lathis and guns are oblivious to this emotion. And I feel sorry for them.

The same holds true for the Modi loyalists, who touched a new low yesterday. Unfortunately for them, yesterday was also the day when the young men and women of this city touched a new high.

[See more photographs by Chandan Gomes.]

What Went Down at the Anti-Modi Protest at Delhi University

by AKHIL KUMAR

[An excerpt from Akhil Kumar‘s eyewitness account as published in Youth ki Awaaz.]

…The police did not even bother to conceal their support and tolerance for the hooligans of ABVP who even climbed on the water cannon and openly indulged in sexual harassment and violence. They passed lewd comments and made vulgar gestures standing right next to the policemen, I would have clicked pictures had my phone not been rendered useless by the water cannon. I was shocked to see that many teachers from Delhi University also openly threatening the protesters, abusing us with the most horrific expletives while their students brandished pointed sticks saying “khoon kar dunga”! We felt helpless and outraged at the police working hand in glove with the goons. When we broke through the first barricade, the police started bashing us ruthlessly with their lathis in full swing and they enjoyed every moment of it. They laughed, mocked us, hurled vulgar abuses and passed derogatory comments while hitting us. It was clear that they had no intention to disperse or control the crowd, they chased us down and dragged some of our protesters to their side of the barricade and left them at the mercy of the ABVP goons. A few girls fell down in the rush and the police trampled them, one of them was unconscious when we rushed to help and had to be taken to the hospital. The ABVP students openly threatened girls with comments like “Jo Gujrat me hua tha wahi tumhare sath bhi karenge”…

…The police trained their water cannon at us and I cannot forget the smirk on the face of the person who was operating it just before he started aiming at the defenseless protesters. I was caught in the jet and fell face down as it hit me straight on my legs, struggling to get up from the mud. I lost all faith in non-violent protests that very moment. I was hurt, shocked and infuriated; not that this was my first encounter with water cannons but because of the smile on the policemen’s faces as they enjoyed the brutality. When I again went to the barricade, I was beaten up and hit where it hurts the most; the excruciating pain in the knuckles and ankles stand testimony to that. Some of the policemen passed snide remarks and laughed at us all the while…

 

Photo credit: Shafaq Khan

 

The Anatomy of a Protest

by an ANONYMOUS Delhi University student

To say that Narendra Modi is a very divisive figure would be an understatement. A dear friend, who is an SRCC Alumnus, suddenly informed me a couple of days back on 2nd February that Mister Modi has been invited to visit her college to speak at the annual Shriram Memorial Lecture and the annual business conclave. She wanted to know what I thought of it when it was her own anguish that Icould sense in her words at not being able to do anything about this visit. I could not say anything; perhaps my silence conveyed enough of my sadness and helplessness at this. Then today in the morning of 6th February, the day of the visit, I was informed by another friend who is associated with AISA, they are going to register their protest against this visit which was going to take place today at 3 pm, asking me to come and be a part of it. The visit was something that I had conveniently put to the back of my mind, thinking maybe it would go away and was rudely reminded that reality does not afford you such luxury. So I went to attend the Protest and here is a brief account.

2:45 pm
I made my way to the front of SRCC gate and found that there were some media personnel, with their paraphernalia of cameras and other stuff and some other sundry people loitering around and a huge presence of Delhi Police personnel. I was wondering whether how many of these were there to protest this visit. Overhearing some of the conversations, it was clear that some were clearly fanboys of the coming visitor but some were curious to see the visitor and it is here i overhear for thwarting a shoe hurling incident, everyone’s been asked to take off their shoes before going into the auditorium at srcc. Alas, had no means to cross-check it. I am considering whether it would have been more prudent to protest inside SRCC. Some people who appear to be from Bihar by their accents are speaking how it is necessary to make Modi the Prime Minister to save the country from being destroyed by the Congress.

3:00 pm
Delhi Police gets into action and in a jiffy puts up layers of barricades which were already there and fastens up the barricades with a heavy rope on both sides to the university walls. It traps everyone who were till a moment ago thinking they had a good vantage point and are asked to vacate the area quickly, even those who were trying to go home. People are forced to climb over the walls of Arts Faculty and jump to safety on the other side
.
3:02 pm
Suddenly a group of people under AISA’s banner arrives on the scene, shouting slogans to the effect that Modi should go back and are met by the first barricade. The media persons present get into action trying to cover this but it is clear these are the small units, who have been denied entry inside the hallowed portals to cover the visit. The protestors group gets ranged against the barricade and the might of Delhi Police on the other side. This group is joined by more people soon of other leftist groups and slogan shouting, waving of black flags and placards, ensues.

3:12 pm
The restive group starts to push forward, wanting to go ahead, in this melee a female protester tries to get through the gap in the barricade and is manhandled and brutally pushed back by all male contingent of Delhi Police. The Police want to shove batons at the protestors and are continuously reminded by the protestors, they cannot do this. A quick aside, yes all the police personnel on duty were male and no female constable could be sighted till the end of the protest. The female protestor finally manages to push through and is immediately caught hold off by her hair and hauled off for her temerity to do such a thing. I am worried and fearful of her safety.

3:15 pm
This had a ripple effect and suddenly the crowd starts pushing at the barricade but is pushed back by the police by shoving their lathis and manhandling protesters. The barricade which seemed secure, beyond breaching is suddenly getting tilted towards the police. Sensing that they might not be able to hold on for long and it could cause some injury to them, i see a policeman untying and letting go of the rope tying the barricades. The police bandobust decides it wise to move back behind the second barricade. The slogan shouters move forward while very efficiently sidelining the fallen barricades for their fellow protestors. When all this protest started, a female got injured and fainted, had to be carried to the sidelines and it was a while before she was normal.

3:30 pm
Some more protestors join in, the slogan shouting reaches fever pitch. I spot a middle-aged gentleman wearing a devils mask and the famous Modi mukhauta pasted on his chest signifying his real character. His is quite a novelty. Somebody passes me a placard, which says killer Modi Go Back. It is my own for displaying till its end comes when it gets wet and wasted. The right flank of the protesters has females majorly, shouting slogans, holding onto the barricades. These female protestors i learn later took some of the worst abuse from the police and the pro-modi supporters group. People want to cross-over the barricades but cannot do much, except shout slogans to condemn Modi. The Police is saturated around the barricade, so much so that not an inch of light can pass between them it appears and is eyeballing the protesters. Some are abusing, some are asking the protestors to be in limits, some are telling them to go home but all this unsolicited advice has no effect.

3:45 pm
Suddenly a motley group of middle aged people under the banner of some organisation called NDTF arrives on the sight of the protest shouting pro-modi slogans. The protesters realise it is a well designed ploy to distract and divert attention, when the pro-modi protestors were allowed to assemble on the other side of the barricade from where his cavalcade was to come and not on this side. Suddenly a group breaks up and forms a wall of protestors to stop this group from going ahead and a slogan shouting war to out-shout the other ensues. Suddenly this group of NDTF, sees a kashmiri in the midst of the other camp and then the slogans progressively degenerate into ” babar ki auladon wapas jao”, ” Muslims are Terrorists” and much worse and targeted at that kashmiri protestor. Another surprise for me was to spot this group of IAS aspirants who are in delhi to prepare for this exam, who i knew from before and are not part of the university to suddenly emerge and join pro-modi slogan shouting with the NDTF group. There was a Sardarji distributing a pamphlet addressed to the Khalsa College Principal. There was placard asking for justice for Soni Sori too. There were placards asking why there were fixed salaries in academia.

4:00 pm
An anti-riot vehicle comes and stops at the sidelines and then a fire-brigade vehicle fitted with cannon for firing water comes and stops in front of the barricade. It appears inevitable that a drenching was in the works for those who were protesting. So as sudden as was the presence of the water cannon in the midst, so did it let loose a volley of water on anyone who chose to stay in its way or dared to protest. All this happening without provocation from the crowd. The checking of the water nozzle and then getting it ready to fire, seemed like something happening in ultra slow motion in a film, while in reality it was pretty swift. And so we had been all soaked in water for daring to protest.

4:15 pm
The protestors now started getting restive. They had been non-provocative but the police had replied with water cannon to get them to shut-up. Suddenly the cavalcade of Modi was visible and a crowd of ABVP supporters running after it. They obviously had a free run for they were supporting him. If this farce of allowing a protest was not enough, the NDTF got reinforcement in the form of SaveIndia.Org. They soon descended upon the scene with fancy placards and posters made out of flex, seemed like they were well prepared for this. This group then tried to make its way to the front of the barricade, continuously pushing and shoving. When they could not, they climbed up the walls which were forbidden for others to climb and made their way to the front from the right flank, manhandling and abusing the female protestors who were already present there.

4:30 pm
The protestors now did not want to wait behind the barricades. They had been patient but it had been tested by the uncalled for water cannoning the first time. Suddenly a group of ABVP protestors appears on the side of the police, unfurling a big poster of their poster boy and egging on the protestors to cross the barricade. These people appear to be special invitees to the protest by the police. No one is stopping them and they are going on, trying to provoke the protestors. Then a pro-modi supporter climbs upon the water cannon, unfurls a poster of mister modi and gives the finger to the protestors behind the barricade before he is asked to come down.

4:40 pm
Some people start pushing at the barricade and want to bring it down but the police will have none of it. All the policemen are holding on to the barricade as if their life depends on it. There is a tug of war happening. The protestors are pulling at the rope holding on to the barricade, hoping to bring it down. Then all of a sudden somebody from their ranks decides it is enough and charges in from the left flank with a baton in his hand. I spot somebody i have known from college in the front and it seems he is hurt, his very pained expression saying it all. This rampaging policeman is surrounded by protestors and sensing danger he stops, he is divested of his baton and is sent back across the barricade to be with his tribe and the baton safely put beneath a car before it can cause more damage.

4:45 pm
The water canon returns. The police have had it with these impudent protestors, who do not appear to have learnt their lesson. They spray and spray and some people again are running to save themselves, while some are facing it on. Now the anti-modi protestors all occupy the front line of protestors. The SaveIndia.Org people have mysteriously slinked back. It is back to sloganeering for registering protest. A pro-modi protestor is confused about the man protesting with the devil’s mask, whether he was on his side or on the other. A sardarji is patiently explaining to him, what his protest is all about, to show modi as a real devil behind the mask. The pro-modi protestor appears quite dazed on hearing this.

5:00 pm
I bump into my AISA friends, hoarse from all the slogan shouting and drenched completely. We are happy to see each other and relieved that they are un-hurt. I also manage to bump into this person who I knew, having seen him with a pained expression and it turns out to be true, he was hurt with a baton just below the eye. Then spot this female, who is limping without footwear as if she has hurt both her feet. I speak to her and ask her what has happened, which leaves me horrified. She was one of those people who were in the front of the barricade on the right flank and they were constantly beaten on their feet by the shoving of batons by the police and hurled the choicest of abuses and had been joined in by pro-Modi supporters. The police never change’s its stripes. Now a group of people from SIO have also arrived and waving their flag and shouting anti-modi slogans.

5:15 pm
Suddenly a contingent of policemen in riot gear has arrived behind the protestors and is standing at a distance. If facing the police from the front was not enough, there are more waiting behind their backs.

 

5:30 pm
People have started leaving now, having registered their protest vociferously and in a dignified manner. The police contingent in riot-gear is closing in now and is standing very close for comfort all of a sudden.

5:45 pm
The protest is officially over and all the protestors are hauled and taken in a procession to the Maurice Nagar Police Station. They are surrounded on all sides by the police and the ABVP protestors as they go to the police station shouting slogans.

Post-Script
A total of 18 people have been taken for a Medical Test( a medical test to ascertain if it is a Medico-Legal Case) because they are injured and Seven people were detained for trying to cross the barricade, who are all released in the end.

It was a smooth protest, done peacefully but how much of an impact it will have, I am not sure. Making our voice heard, registering our protest, yes we did. After all that is what democracy is all about, the right to be heard, the right to protest peacefully, without the fear of molestation or of violence by mobs of men ranged against your protesting. As a friend remarked at the protest, even if we could not make it inside the college, we did show that we did not agree and were not complicit in legitimizing Modi’s visit. Finally, I am left with a question in my head, whether Delhi University will ever be saved from its right-wing moorings.

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Girls harrassed by Maurice Nagar police at anti-Modi protests in DU #Vaw

English: Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Guja...

English: Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, India, speaks during the welcome lunch at the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit 2008 in New Delhi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

On 6th of February, there was a large protest against the invitation of and talk by Narendra Modi by SRCC Students Union, organised by various students groups and individuals. The road in front of SRCC had 3 rows of barricades on each side, some of which were subsequently broken. The Delhi police was extremely vicious in their handling of the situation, and were both highly sexist and communal. They passed lewd comments about women standing near the barricade, made kissing gestures and noises, asked women to come closer and talk to them. They also very openly stared and laughed at women in a way that was clearly sexual. When a woman student demanded that women police officers be present at the barricade as well to confront women students, she was told ‘aap aurat kahaan se hain’. Women were also told repeatedly to give up as they’re too weak to break barricades. Some women were told that they should stop protesting or they would be meted the same treatment as women in Gujarat in 2002. At the police station, women students were groped and felt up by the police when they tried to enter.

In addition to this the police also detained 8 protestors. ABVP students were allowed on the other side of the barricade, one even climbed the water cannon, but none of them were detained. This was despite them threatening students, particularly women, by saying things like “jo gujrat ke aurton ka haal kiya wohi tera hoga”. The police, after lathi charging students, laughing and joking as they did so, went on to drag students and throw them in the middle of ABVP and RSS activists, where they were further beaten up. 

They were attacked by both ABVP goons and the police, who were supporting each other. The police were particularly obnoxious, whistling and winking at the female students (who were also groped at the Thana) and beating them (and the boys) up sadistically with lathis in addition to water cannons. The ABVP threatened them with Gujarat-like consequences – “Jo Gujarat mein huya vaise tujh me ghusa doonga” while brandishing a stick and similar things. Meanwhile the police were watching and laughing at the girls and other protestors and saying things like “kar le jo karna hai, kya lar payegi” and openly supporting the ABVP students, who were even dancing on the water cannons as they aimed at the protestors. The worst is that they would pick up some of the protestors (including young women) and push them into a crowd of ABVP goons who would then beat them. Some protestors were picked up and taken to the police station, and beaten up on the way (including on the head and groin with lathis). NONE of this shocking stuff is coming out in any of the news reports.

 

 

 

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#Karnataka -‘Girl students often misuse the burkha’- #WTFnews #moralpolicing

STAFF REPORTER, The Hindu

IN PROTEST: (From left) Dalit Christian Federation chairperson Rev. D. Manohar Chandra Prasad, Karnataka United Christian Forum functionary Felix Noronha and Karnataka Regional Commission for Education secretary Sr. M. Genevieve at Friday’s press conference in Bangalore. Photo: K. Gopinathan
The HinduIN PROTEST: (From left) Dalit Christian Federation chairperson Rev. D. Manohar Chandra Prasad, Karnataka United Christian Forum functionary Felix Noronha and Karnataka Regional Commission for Education secretary Sr. M. Genevieve at Friday’s press conference in Bangalore. Photo: K. Gopinathan

‘Ban in Christian institutions applicable only on campuses’

Defending the ban imposed by several missionary-run educational institutions in Karnataka on wearing the burkha on campus, Sr. M. Genevieve, secretary of the Karnataka Regional Commission for Education (KRCE), has said that the garment is “often misused by girl students”.

“They use it for copying in exams,” Sr. Genevieve said, while gesturing with her hands that girl students hide scraps of paper in the folds of the Islamic outfit.

She was responding to a question about the burkha ban at a press conference here on Friday called to announce a daylong seminar on “combating saffronisation of education and suppression of subaltern voices”. The seminar, scheduled for Saturday, is being organised by the KRCE, which manages 105 Catholic societies and 1,200 Catholic educational institutions.

‘OTHER RELIGIONS TOO’

Sr. Genevieve claimed that not just Muslims, but girls of other religions too have started wearing the burkha as a sort of cover for “immoral activities”. “Other girls have also started wearing [the burkha] to go out with their boyfriends,” she said.

When it was pointed out that saffron groups too have tried to impose a ban on the garment, particularly in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, she said that the ban in Christian missionary institutions was applicable only on the campus.

“In a girls’ college like Mount Carmel College, what is the need to wear the burkha? There are hardly one or two men there,” said Sr. Genevieve, a former principal of the girls’ college.

HUGE CONTROVERSY

The banning of the burkha at the St. Aloysius College in Mangalore had created a huge controversy in April last year after it was reported widely in the print and electronic media.

The case of commerce student Aysha Ashmin made national headlines in August 2009 after the Sri Venkataramana Swamy Government-aided Degree College in Bantwal, Dakshina Kannada, banned her from wearing the burkha under pressure from activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

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Documentary on Kashmir secretly screened at Presidency

 

kashmirfilm.wordpress.com

Ananya Dutta, 9th FEb 2012, The  Hindu

In a dark anteroom of the Presidency University canteen here, a handful of students huddled around a screen on Wednesday watching Jashn-e-Azadi, Sanjay Kak‘s 2007 documentary on Kashmir that was not allowed to be screened at the Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce in Pune earlier this week.

While the walls of the canteen are littered with graffiti — political and otherwise — not a single poster was put up to promote this event, which had not been sanctioned by the authorities of the University.

While college authorities at Pune had bowed down to pressure from the right-wing student organisation, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), and cancelled the screening of the film, University authorities here had no idea that it had been screened.

“I know nothing about this. We will have to inquire into this and only then can I comment about it,” said Malabika Sarkar, Vice-chancellor of Presidency University, adding that a few students had approached her requesting permission, but had been told to keep the screening on hold for a week.

“Holding the screening back only seems to be delay tactics. With our examinations scheduled later this month the crowds on campus are already thinning. A week later fewer students would have attended,” said one of the organisers.

“Other than the cancellation in Pune, only one screening in Mumbai was interrupted [in July 2007]. The police were approached by protestors and the screening was interrupted,” Mr. Kak told The Hindu over telephone from Delhi.

Surreptitiously screened and discreetly promoted, the crowd had come to know about the screening through word-of-mouth or from an events page on Facebook. Seated on rickety benches and the floor once the audience began to swell they heard the stories of old men, bereaved women, children, poets and politicians from the Valley.

“You have gathered here today because you want to flag a protest, because you want to send out a signal that students at Presidency College [University] will not surrender their right to be informed about the world, to hear and speak about issues that are central to our times. That’s a fundamental right, and we cannot — and will not — surrender that. For making that gesture, and putting your foot down: Zindabad!” Mr. Kak said in a message emailed to the organi

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Censorship at Symbiosis: See no Kashmir, hear no Kashmir, speak no Kashmir

kashmirfilm.wordpress.com

By Shivam Vij

For the past four years, a handful of Kashmiri Pandits and right-wing activists have shut down numerous screenings of Sanjay Kak’s Jashn-e-Azadi: How We Celebrate Freedom (2007). The most recent cancellation by Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, Pune, was a result of pressure from the BJP’s student wing, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad. The activists made sure the seminar was cancelled — at least for the moment — by not just leaning on the founder-director of Symbiosis but also by going to the police. The college principal Hrishikesh Soman says he got a letter from the police saying the screening should be avoided as the film was “controversial.”

The screening was to be a part of a UGC-funded seminar on Kashmir in the college, to which several others had also been invited. Thanks to the ABVP, the entire seminar has been cancelled.

There are many reasons offered for this dismal outcome – and all of them are spurious.

One such reason is the absence of a censor certificate. However, Section 10 of the Cinematograph Act allows for exemptions to be given for screening without a censor certificate, and a 1956-57 report ‘on the progress of audio-visual education’ (available on the HRD Ministry website) mentions that several states including Bombay (now called Maharashtra, where Pune is located) have used the clause to exempt educational institutions.

In short, Symbiosis would break no law by screening Jashn-e-Azadi.

This isn’t about whether or not the film has a censor certificate, whether or not it needs one or should have one. This is about Kashmir and the attempt by the rightwing to silence all discussion on Kashmir. The ABVP claims both the film and the seminar encourages “separatism.” In other words, they decide what is anti-national and what is not, and their opinions have now become – by default – the law of the land. Anything that is “controversial” to the Hindu or Muslim right inevitably creates a “law and order” problem and hence has to be shut down.

Read more here

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