ABVP,an arm of RSS war in campuses ? Indian campuses unsafe for Indians

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Gurmehar Kaur's Facebook post slamming student union went viral
Post came after violence at Delhi college over invite to JNU student.Have been threatened with violence, rape for it, says Gurmehar

The crack in her voice does not impair the statement that she makes but they do commission a moment of thought. Gurmehar Kaur, daughter of Captain Mandeep Singh who was killed in the 1999 Kargil War, has said she has received a barrage of threats including that of rape after she spoke out against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP, a student union linked to the ruling BJP, following the violence at Delhi's Ramjas College on Wednesday.

"I've been getting a lot of threats on social media. When you open the profile picture that I changed, you keep seeing there are people threatening me and calling me an anti-nationalist. I think it's very scary when people threaten you with violence or with rape. There is this guy called Rahul and he's given a very detailed explanation in a comment saying how he would like to rape me. That is very scary," she said on NDTV's show We The People tonight.

Countering Ms Kaur's remarks, ABVP's National spokesperson, Saket Bahuguna said, "Wherever we see that the integrity of our country is at stake, ABVP will protest."

Clashes had erupted outside the campus of Ramjas College between groups of students after the ABVP objected to an invitation for a seminar to Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid, who had been accused of sedition over an event last year where anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.

A 140-word Facebook post and a picture that she posted hours after the clashes went viral. In the picture, the Lady Shri Ram College student held a handwritten placard that read: "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".

But the messages of solidarity and criticism to her post were also accompanied by a torrent of ugly abuse. The post has been shared nearly 3,000 times and received more than 1,000 comments in four days.Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad is acquiring a well deserved notoriety for disrupting lectures, screenings and seminars. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on Tuesday did not allow a seminar to take place at Ramjas College in Delhi University. While the seminar was on ‘Cultures of Protest’ , one of the sessions in which Jawaharlal Nehru University research scholar Umar Khalid was invited to speak was on the war in Adivasi areas, an area in which he specialises.

Members of the ABVP objected to the presence of Umar Khalid in Delhi University, stormed the college in search of the ‘anti national’, pelted stones at the convention centre and cut off power supply to the college. Teachers and students were locked in the college before police escorted them out later in the evening.

Umar Khalid had been charged with sedition last year merely because he was one of the several organisers of an event that sought to discuss the various controversies associated with the hanging of Afzal Guru, an accused of the attack on the Indian Parliament.

Delhi Police, however, has not filed any charge sheet against Umar Khalid although a year has passed since the incident. But ultra nationalist ABVP members were in no mood to allow students to listen to Umar Khalid speak even on unrest in Adivasi areas.

While the lecture was cancelled on Tuesday, ABVP members assembled again the next day when some students of Ramjas College took out a procession to the Maurice Nagar Police Station to lodge an FIR against hooliganism by members of the ABVP.

The AISA sponsored march seemed to provoke members of the ABVP, who attacked the procession and allegedly molested women, assaulted teachers and hurled chairs and brickbats as the police remained silent spectators.

Much later in the evening at 6 pm the police swung into action and dispersed the crowd by swinging their batons and dragging women by the hair.

On Thursday students from Delhi University staged a demonstration at the Headquarters of Delhi Police and demanded that an FIR be lodged and appropriate action be taken against both ABVP members and the policemen for their inaction. Special Commissioner of Police SBK Singh addressed the students and teachers and regretted the assault on teachers but not journalists.

This is not the first time ABVP has disrupted lectures, seminars and screening of films. But even in JNU, supposedly a left bastion, there has been no disruption or violence at any of the events organised by the ABVP there.

“Can the ABVP cite any instance when they were attacked during the past 20 years in even one of the states ruled by the opposition?” asked an irate DU teacher.

What remains unclear is whether there is an innocent explanation of the violence and ‘clashes’ in Delhi University or whether they were triggered with a purpose

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