The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh created chaos by bursting crackers at a protest rally held by the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) in the Pondicherry University (PU) on Tuesday (August 6) evening. The SFI members were protesting the union government’s unilateral move of revoking Article 370.
They also condemned the house arrest of former chief ministers and leaders of various political parties. The SFI also accused the government of using power to silence the voices of people of Jammu and Kashmir. Widespread agitation are being organised across the country by the democratic and progressive forces against the move of the BJP government.
The ABVP members resorted to bursting crackers in a bid to harm the SFI activists and hurling abuses at a peaceful protest held inside the university campus.
Jaya Prakash, the president of Puducherry region SFI told NewsClick, “The SFI cadres were taking out a rally against the arbitrary move of the BJP government. We strongly condemn the move of the union government and the rally was in support of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The ABVP members as usual attacked a democratic event with muscle power. The intolerant nature of the right wing forces is well known and they continue to demonstrate it. They started to fire the crackers and abused the women comrades who were participating in the rally. This is uncivilised behaviour on the part of ABVP which does not have the ideological clarity even to defend their own stand.”
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The activists who had participated in the protest said that the ABVP members were carrying large amounts of fire crackers to disrupt the protest march of the SFI which is a democratic right of any organisation functioning in the country. The attack on the peaceful march led to altercations between the SFI and ABVP members, following which the police had to intervene and pacify the violent ABVP members.
The ABVP also uploaded the photos of the attack on the SFI rally as the victory celebration of taking back Kashmir in its PU Facebook page.
Earlier on Monday, the right-wing students’ organisation had celebrated the abolition of the article 370 by taking out a rally in the PU campus, however, the rally was not interrupted by any of the students unions in the campus.
The PU unit of SFI has been alleging that the ABVP enjoys impunity due to the protection of the university administration, particularly that of the Registrar (I/C). Earlier in the month, the SFI had accused the Registrar (I/C) of PU for neglecting all the demands submitted by the students’ council and entertaining the ABVP, which has a minimum presence in the campus for her personal requirements. The SFI had also started an indefinite hunger strike to which the university administration yielded and the Vice Chancellor was forced to give an assurance to fulfill the demands put forward by the students.
Also read: Pondicherry University Students on Indefinite Hunger Strike