Under BJP, Universities Become War Zones

Under BJP, Universities Become War Zones Mon, 06 Jan 2020

Under BJP, Universities Become War Zones

Students are the future leaders and minds of our nation & today India's future is under attack. Students are being subjected to brutal crackdowns and organised attacks in their campuses, while the police & Union govt stands idly by.

On a cold January evening, people all over India were stirred as their social media platforms were flooded with SOS messages and calls from Jawaharlal Nehru University students. A mob of masked men and women, mostly from BJP’s student wing, RSS-backed, ABVP, brandished with rods, stones, heavy sticks and sledgehammers, barged into the JNU campus. They entered the hostels, pelted stoned, damaged cars, & swung their batons at students and faculty members; their agenda was singular - ‘wipe out the left.’

At least 26 people, including the JNU Students’ Union president Aishe Ghosh, have been severely injured during the rampage that went on for over two hours. There were several calls for help by the students stuck in the campus to Delhi police personnel who stood outside the campus gates watching the carnage take place. They police failed to stop the mob from entering the university, or ending the violence sooner. They even tried to stop an ambulance that was taking injured students to the hospital, preventing it to leave the campus, while further blocking all entry and exit gates.

While the ABVP is claiming that it was a mutual clash between the left group, JNUSU and the ABVP, only the JNUSU students and supporters have been injured. Furthermore, the JUNUSU students were unarmed and were attacked at their place of study or residence. So, then we ask, is it still a clash or an organised attack? Why should both sides be blamed, when only one was indulging in violence.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first attack on students that the country has seen in the past month. December and January have been marked with police brutality and now, violence from a politically backed student wing. Jamia Millia Islamia was subjected to a vicious police crackdown on December 15, in response to their peaceful protests against the unlawful, discriminatory CAA and NRC. The police personnel entered the campus and violently charged at the students present there. They even entered the girl’s hostel and bathrooms in the university, cracking down upon anybody they saw. More than 80 students were injured, including 20 who had broken bones due to brutal lathi-charges. Others were injured with stones, pellet guns and tear gas shells, which were fired in closed spaces like the library where students were studying. Over 100 students were detained for exercising their democratic right to raise their voice.

The same night, Aligarh Muslim University also saw a similar kind of violence, which injured around 60 students. There too, the peaceful protestors were fired at with tear gas, after which they were attacked with lathis and their vehicles were damaged. The police also set a room on fire inside the university.

Such attacks on the students inside their university are becoming a normal phenomenon with 3 universities attacked. Students are now feeling unsafe inside campus and are returning home due to fear of losing their lives, while no action has been taken against the police or the ABVP members who perpetrated their heinous crimes. This is what our ruling government is doing to our future minds. Dear BJP, university campuses are not battle grounds. We demand justice and accountability. This cannot go on.

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