In what seems to be yet another part of a conspicuous pattern of the current regime’s bid to subdue and take over intellectual spaces, students of Jamia Millia Islamia, who had organised a counter Iftaar party in protest of the Iftaar party organised by the RSS-backed Muslim Wing Rashtriya Muslim Manch to which Indresh Kumar had been invited, were lathi-charged.
The venue at the time of commencement of the silent protest, including the University, witnessed a huge deployment of Delhi Police and CRPF personnel; following which the Delhi Police started barricading the venue. Despite repeated solicitation for removal of the barricades, which according to them was an attempt at instilling fear in the minds, by the students the Delhi Police did not retract leading to agitation amongst the student protesters. In order to express their disapproval, the students marched to the barricades leading to a scuffle between the students and the police personnel. As a result, 6 students were taken into custody and detained at the New Friends’ Colony Police Station. The protests gained momentum and demands to release the students were made by the protesters. The protests ended around 8 PM only after the students were released post the Proctor’s intervention.
However, an air of unattended and unanswered questions lurks the University. Was there a need for the deployment of security forces to control a silent protest? Do peoples’ rights to and the intellectual spaces of dissent stand endangered?
By: Eisha Hussain