The National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged demonstrations here today against the baton-charge on students in Banaras Hindu University (BHU). The RSS-affiliated ABVP condemned the police action against the students and demanded constitution of a fact-finding committee, while the Congress-backed NSUI demanded an inquiry under a sitting high court judge and resignation of the BHU vice-chancellor. The two student organisations had separately announced their plans to stage demonstrations outside the office of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) here.
However, the NSUI claimed that it supporters were detained much ahead of the venue, while ABVP activists were allowed to reach the site.
The Congress-affiliated student body accused Delhi Police of favouring the ABVP. “Despite having all permissions, we were detained without citing any reason. This shows how Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to use the police for curbing and stopping protests against him and his government,” NSUI media in-charge Neeraj Mishra.
Mishra also criticised the ABVP and said its protest was “always about symbolism”. Rejecting the NSUI’s charge, ABVP national media convener Saket Bahuguna said on Twitter, “Those wondering why a protest at MHRD, should remember @ABVPVoice works for student community, not for any political party and we are proud of it.” When contacted, the Parliament Street police station SHO said permission was not granted for any protest near the ministry and that both parties were detained.
A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a lathi-charge by the police in BHU where a protest on Saturday night against an alleged eve-teasing incident turned violent. The violence erupted after some students, protesting against the incident on Thursday, wanted to meet the varsity’s vice-chancellor at his residence.
Security guards of the university stopped the students and informed the police, according to university sources. A BHU spokesperson had said that some students wanted to “forcibly” enter the VC’s residence but they were stopped by the BHU security guards.
Subsequently, there was stone pelting by “outsiders” who had joined the students, he said. The police baton charged the students in a bid to disperse them.