The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) alleged that students protesting at the Delhi University were attacked by members of RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Monday.
The SFI, along with other organisations, was protesting in front of Arts Faculty as part of the indefinite sit-in to reopen the university. A candlelight vigil in remembrance of Aishwarya Reddy of Lady Shri Ram College, who was “institutionally murdered by the university through its rigorous implementation of online education without considering the demands and needs of students coming from marginalised and underprivileged sections of society”, was also held, the federation said in a statement.
The SFI alleged that Aman, SFI unit secretary, Ramjas College, and two other students were assaulted by the ABVP members, news agency PTI reported. The three students luckily sustained only minor injuries, the SFI said in a statement.
“It must be noted that on the one hand, the ABVP itself conducted a protest to reopen campuses while on the other hand, they are attacking students for raising the same demand. This proves that they are hoodwinking students with their token protest while in reality, they are goons hired by the government, whose sole agenda is to crush the movement of the students,” the SFI further alleged in the statement.
SFI Delhi state president Sumit Kataria, state committee member Noel Benny along with SFI members joined the sit-in on its first day. “During the sit-in, we saw that ABVP goons were present at the venue. They were marking the students who were part of the demonstration,” Kataria told Newsclick.
“Attacking us and trying to break the movement will not discourage us. The indefinite sit-in will continue. We will not stop our protest until our demands are met,” he added.
A separate statement released by SFI Delhi University said, “The SFI will continue its struggle as part of the sit-in protests and by building other larger mass movements until the demands to reopen the campus and to take measures to bridge the digital divide are met.”
The ABVP, however, has accused the SFI of indulging in “falsehood” to attract attention. “It is unfortunate that for media attention, student organisations are ranting anything (sic). The ABVP has been leading the protest for campus reopening since the beginning and organised simultaneous protests at 56 colleges with more than 2,000 students,” it said, according to PTI.
Appreciate the “efforts of all students raising the demand for campus reopening”, the ABVP said that “some organisations are making up stories and relying on falsehood to come in the limelight which is disgraceful. No ABVP member has been involved in any quarrel/clash whatsoever with AISA or SFI. They should file a complaint if any such incident has happened”.