ABVP held a press conference on 10th February, 2016, at JNUSU office to voice their concern against the 9th February event organized by DSU. The cultural event was in protest against what the DSU called— the execution of Afzal Guru and the separatist leader Maqbool Bhat by the State. Deeming it as anti-national, such events not only glorified convicted terrorists but were also against the sovereignty and integrity of the country, claimed the Party.
They claimed that the cultural event took place despite a notification issued by the Dean of Students Office (DSO) withdrawing permission to use the Sabarmati badminton court for their protest.
ABVP was allowed by the administration to protest at the sidewalk in case of a shift in the event venue. Hence, members of the Party gathered in protest at the site, when ‘anti-India’ slogans were heard at the demonstration. This created a clash between the two groups and the security guards rushed in to act as a deterrent between the two opposing factions. Matters became worse after students from other Left-wing organizations arrived to resist what they believe was an attempt at curbing individual’s Right to Freedom of Expression.
They also suggested that when the event was reported to the police, campus security aided in the escape of certain protesters. Because of which, they demanded the removal of the Chief Security Officer and Security Chief In-charge. A demand to rusticate on-campus organizers of the event was also made.
When asked about the implications of curbing citizens’ Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression, Abhijeet of ABVP replied, “When they quote the Constitution to demand rights, they should not forget that the very same Constitution also demands them to uphold the integrity of the nation as their Fundamental Duty. By organizing events as such, [it is a] clear violation of the mentioned duty.”
Mansi Singh is an MA student at CPS and works for the Informer.