Kargil martyr’s daughter Gurmehar Kaur, who came under harsh criticism from BJP members and certain sections of the society for her campaign against violence in the name of nationalism, today announced that she is ‘withdrawing from the campaign’. “I’m withdrawing from the campaign. Congratulations everyone. I request to be left alone. I said what I had to say,” Kaur tweeted this morning. She also vented her frustration, saying, “I have been through a lot and this is all my 20 year self could take.” Underlining that the ‘campaign is about students and not about’ her, she asked protesters to join a march, which will be taking place later today. “Please go to the March in huge numbers. Best of luck,” she said. “One thing is for sure, next time we will think twice before resorting to violence or threats and that’s all this was about,” she said.
Hitting out at those who had trolled her, she said, “To anyone questioning my courage and bravery.. I’ve shown more than enough.” It has been learned that students and teachers from Delhi University and JNU will hold a march from Khalsa College to Arts Faculty. According to reports, left-wing student organization AISA will carry out march even as NSUI is planning to sit on hunger strike.
Check out Gurmehar Kaur’s tweet
I’m withdrawing from the campaign. Congratulations everyone. I request to be left alone. I said what I had to say.. (1/2)
— Gurmehar Kaur (@mehartweets) February 28, 2017
The campaign is about students and not about me. Please go to the March in huge numbers. Best of luck.
— Gurmehar Kaur (@mehartweets) February 28, 2017
Kaur, daughter of Kargil martyr Captain Mandeep Singh, had started the campaign “I am not afraid of ABVP” following violence at Ramjas college. It went viral and received massive support from students across universities.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal had said ‘DCW Home Guards’ were providing security to the Kargil martyr’s daughter, who complained of receiving “rape threats” allegedly from ABVP members. Gurmehar Kaur (20), a Delhi University student, met Maliwal and alleged that she had been receiving rape threats on social media allegedly by ABVP members.
Maliwal, who termed the act “shameful”, wrote to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik demanding that an FIR be registered against the “abusers” and security be provided to the girl and her family.
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“Presently, DCW Home Guards providing protection to Gurmehar Kaur. We will be with her 24*7. Hope Delhi Police urgently gives her protection,” the women’s panel chief tweeted.
In a letter written to the Delhi Police Commissioner, Maliwal stated, “She (Kaur) has been subjected to extreme abuse and rape threats online. Her complaint is self-explanatory and contains relevant screen shots of rape threats and abuse as evidence.
“Considering the gravity of the situation and the threats received, it is recommended that the girl and her family be provided police protection and an FIR be immediately registered against the abusers,” she said.
“It is highly unfortunate and shameful that a strong and independent young girl is being threatened and abused for taking a stand against hooligans. It is deeply perturbing that the threats appear to have silent support of some celebrities and leaders as well,” she added.
Kaur had last week changed her Facebook profile picture into one holding a placard reading, “I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me.#StudentsAgainstABVP.” Her classmates and peers started sharing the post, prompting students from various varsities across the country to change their profile pictures with similar placards. However, former cricketer Virendra Sehwag and Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda today criticised the literature student’s remarks, calling her a “political pawn”.
Responding to the critics, Kaur told PTI, “I am really disappointed with the statements about my campaign, especially from ‘famous’ people who are questioning my nationalism. Two things I want to clarify is that they do not understand my idea of patriotism and this student campaign is not a political movement.”
“It is about students and our campuses being safe from violent threats and it does not matter what organisation it comes from. Nobody can threaten rape to any one. No matter where he comes from and what his background is,” she added.
Ramjas college had last week witnessed large-scale violence between members of the AISA and the ABVP. The genesis of the clash was an invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on ‘Culture of Protests’, which was withdrawn by the college authorities following opposition by ABVP.
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) had also ordered an inquiry into the alleged attacks on women by policemen during the violence and issued a notice to the Delhi Police in this regard.
(With agency inputs)