Delhi – Statements against police violence in Delhi University during Modi’s visit

February 8, 2013

Joint Press Statement on Police Violence in Delhi University

08.02.2013

We, the undersigned organizations, strongly and unequivocally condemn the brutal and unprovoked action on the part of the Delhi Police, on 6 February 2013. This totally uncalled for and unjustified action was carried out on students and teachers participating in a completely peaceful protest organized in Delhi University, against the visit of Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, to the University Campus. Hundreds of students and teachers were brutally and repeatedly lathi-charged by the police. The water cannon was used on two occasions with no provocation whatsoever. Many female students and several female teachers were molested, manhandled and abused with the crudest sexual language and gestures, by the same police personnel. Despite repeated requests to the police, by several of the teachers and students present, that they should exercise restraint, and not use such excess force, the police remained unrestrained and even openly belligerent. Moreover, the unabashedly open collusion of the police with goons of ABVP reached its peak when one member of the ABVP mounted on the police’s water cannon vehicle with impunity.

Even more shockingly, in a brazen attempt to cover up this shameful and outrageous conduct, the police has now lodged FIRs against nine of the protestors (5 students from JNU, 3 students from DU and one teacher from DU), under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed), 186 (obstruction of public servant), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to public servant) and 353 (assault or criminal force on public servant). The last two are non-bailable offences. This happened precisely because complaints were lodged against the police as well as against goons of the ABVP who had also assaulted the protestors, by the very same people currently being charged with the above sections by the police. It is particularly significant that the police decided to file these FIRs only after it became clear that the Medico-Legal Complaint (MLCs) of the injured protestors confirmed the assault on them. Such brazenly vindictive and arm-twisting tactics are condemnable in the strongest terms, and must be immediately reversed.

We demand that the Delhi Police immediately withdraw the FIRs lodged against the nine protestors, and apologize unconditionally for their conduct. We also strongly condemn the silence of the University administration, which is morally and legally responsible for the safety and security of its teachers and students. It is shocking that the University administration should have allowed such a heavy police deployment against its own teachers and students in the first place. We therefore also demand that the University administration immediately intervene, condemn the police action, take steps to ensure that the FIRs against the protestors are withdrawn and that the strongest disciplinary action is taken against the errant police personnel. The University should henceforth not invite the police to enter the University campus, and certainly not permit the use of such measures on its students and teachers.

All India Students’ Association (AISA); Campus Front of India (CFI); Common Teacher’s Forum (CTF); Democratic Students’ Union (DSU); Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS); New Socialist Initiative (NSI); Students’ Islamic Organisation (SIO); Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF)

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KRANTIKARI YUVA SANGATHAN (KYS)
Press Release :: 6.2.2013

University students, teachers and karamcharis rise against murderer Modi!!

Today a large number of students, teachers and karamcharis of Delhi University protested against Narendra Modi’s visit to Shri Ram College of Commerce on an invitation extended by SRCC Students Union to deliver the Shri Ram Keynote Oration at Business Conclave on 6th February 2013, on the National Management Festival of SRCC. Slogans of “Corporate Agent Modi Down Down!!”; “Gujarat ke Hatyare wapas jao” rocked the campus. Amidst heavy police presence teachers, students and karamcharis jostled with the security personnel to block Modi’s entry to campus.

We are much disturbed to see that the red carpet is being extended to the man responsible for the 2002 carnage in which thousands perished. Being feted by the right wing forces as the ‘Vikas Purush’, attempts are being made to project him as the prime-ministerial candidate for the next general elections. The agenda is to impose the ‘Gujarat model’ over the rest of the country. But what is this ‘Gujarat model’ that has made him the poster boy of the reactionary forces? What impels the corporate houses to sing paeans to this mass murderer and to call for his crowning? The answer lies in ten years of unbridled corporate Raj, workers pushed to the wall, strike breaking, union busting, lockouts, armies of the unemployed youth, forced land grab from the poor, thousands of debt laden small peasants driven to suicide and tax holidays for the rich. The ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ is in fact seething with the anger of its toiling masses.

The need of the hour for the toiling masses is to unite against this man’s tactics cutting across religious and caste lines. The 2002 carnage was a set-back for the toiling masses. Modi’s bandwagon of Hindutva drove a wedge through the ranks of the toiling masses that has left deep scars on our hearts and minds. Vast sections the toiling masses were rendered lumpenized and many of us surrendered to the gory dream that the rich within our communities were our friends and well wishers. The result is before us…ten years of wanton corporate plunder in Gujarat and the looming danger that the same might happen in the rest of the country after the next general elections. What we need to realize before it is too late is that Modi-RSS brand of politics is a Trozan horse within the citadel of the toiling masses. Toiling masses from all communities, castes, religions need to unite now to resist this threat.

Today, we gathered at SRCC to demonstrate our resolve to stand united against our common foe. This might seem like a small token act but it significance goes far beyond this immediate event. This protest, albeit symbolic would reaffirm our resolve to shed the chimera of caste, religious and racial solidarity and send out the message that the toiling masses shall not shed each other’s blood anymore and they shall stay united against the assaults of the ruling classes. Most importantly, we need to understand that Modi’s communalism cannot be defeated through hollow liberal secularism. BJP’s communalism and Congress brand of liberal secularism are two sides of the same coin. The latter needs the former so that it can pose as the savior of the oppressed minorities, but when it comes to real issues its policies are indistinguishable from BJP’s. Muslim sectarianism/minoritism too is not our friend. Not only does it hinder unity among the toiling masses but more often than not, gets reduced to serve as the bargaining chip for the elite within the minorities for their vested interests. It is only through building struggles around real issues common to the toiling masses cutting across all communities that we can build a movement truly antithetical to the Hindutva politics.