Published: 20th December 2019
Thai girl in Pune's Pro-CAA rally was forced to hold placard by reporter: ABVP
Anil Thombre of the ABVP accused the reporter of suggesting that the girl hold the banner before the picture was taken. But he also added that there were some misunderstandings in the matter
The ABVP has dismissed allegations that they forced a girl from Thailand to hold a pro-CAA placard assuming that she was from the North East. The ABVP's Pune city Secretary, Anil Thombre said that a news story reporting the same was wrong and that the reporter themselves asked the girl to hold the placard. He also added that there were some misunderstandings in the matter which the media harnessed skillfully.
Anil led the 500-people-strong rally from Aniket Canteen till Ambedkar statue at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on Thursday. "All the girls were at the front of the march, so was the girl from Thailand. She is a student of the university but was only there as a spectator. Some of the volunteers also thought that she might be someone from the North East. The reporter made her hold the placard for the photo. We have not forced anyone to join us. We send out notifications with details of the rallies and people who support the cause," Anil said.
As a student himself, Anil condemned any action against the students but pointed out that there were external political forces that are exploiting the students for their vested interest. "There should be an enquiry into the police action but at the same time we, as students, need to have information about the entire issue. Not just about the issue you are protesting for or against but also be aware of the fact that there are people who are trying to steer you towards anarchy," said Anil. "I think those of us who support the act need to come out in larger numbers to spread the word — peacefully and patiently — about what NRC and CAA are really about. A lot of misinterpreted facts are doing the rounds. The BJP and people like us need to stand up against this," he added.