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Government Is Directly Responsible For What Has Unfolded In DU, Says Umar Khalid

"Every time the police gives these hooligans protection, they get more bold in carrying out such actions."

23/02/2017 7:31 PM IST | Updated 23/02/2017 7:50 PM IST
Anahita Khanna/HuffPost

A day after violence broke out between All India Students Association (AISA) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarti Parishad (ABVP) students outside Ramjas College in Delhi University, students of various colleges of DU staged a massive protest at the Delhi Police Headquarters at ITO.

The entire clash started because of an invite to JNU students, Umar Khalid, facing sedition charges, and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on 'Culture Protests', which was later withdrawn by Ramjas College authorities following opposition by the ABVP.

Khalid, who skipped the protests on Wednesday, joined them at ITO today and demanded the registration of an FIR against the ABVP.

"Delhi Police officials who did not do their duty and protect the people yesterday, there should be action against them as well", he said. On being asked about the allegations against him by the ABVP who had claimed that he had started all the ruckus, Khalid said, "We organised a seminar. A university is supposed to organise seminars, debates and discussion. If that is the definition of ruckus, then I have no words to say. I want to make this very clear, those who believe in inequality are the ones who get agitated when we talk about equality. Similarly, the ones who do not believe in democracy, get agitated when we talk about democracy. I was going to speak about was equality, democracy and what was unfolding in 'adivasi' areas, but that is something they do not want the students to discuss."

Anahita Khanna/HuffPost
DU Students protesting at ITO, New Delhi.

Khalid further went on to say, "Not only is the ABP responsible for this but the people who are sitting in power and patronising them, who are repeatedly giving them protection. Every time the police gives these hooligans protection, they get more bold in carrying out such actions. As I said one year ago, they attacked teachers and students and journalists in Patiala Court and no action was taken. And when you don't take action against hooligans, this is what happens. So the government is directly responsible for what has unfolded in DU."

Khalid said that the solidarity among students that has emerged has shaken the government and the ABVP "so much that they have resorted to attacks like this".

Anahita Khanna/HuffPost
DU students protesting at ITO, New Delhi.

"We speak, we debate, we dialogue, we dissent. We have certain ideas. How does that make us 'goondas'? We don't come with rods, we don't throw stones and we don't beat the students. ABVP cannot tolerate these voices of dissent. If they think ABVP can do all this in DU, they will be defeated and decimated by the DU students democratically," Khalid said.

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