Published: 30th December 2019
Ambedkarite group member from Pondy varsity hounded by police after anti-CAA protest
Ever since the CAA was passed, Vicky has been vocally critical of it and so when the Students Union decided to organise a rally, he was eager to join them
Vicky Kumar Saw from Jharkhand, a Master's student at Pondicherry University has been constantly looking behind his back. Over the last few days, the police has been going from door to door in every hostel with Vicky's picture and asking the students if they know him. He was even forced to flee the campus in fear of police action but returned to campus yesterday.
But what did he do? Vicky, a Human Rights student, doesn't have the slightest clue. He has a few guesses though but none of those explains why the police would be tracking him down so suspiciously. Ever since the CAA was passed, Vicky has been vocally critical of it and so when the Students Union decided to organise a rally, he was eager to join them. Vicky, however, a member of the Ambedkar Students Association differs in ideology from the SFI which is leading the Students Union. "They were insisting that we don't bring up any religion or raise any slogans relating to Islam. But like someone once said, if you're attacked as a Jew, resist as a Jew. Indian is not homogeneous, and so it is important to react to this Act as a Muslim as well," he said.
However, since this protest was for the greater good, different groups and associations came together to conduct the rally together. One of Vicky's friends got up to speak and started her speech with the words 'Allahu Akbar', which the student said really upset the Union, who then refused to allow the Muslim student to even give her speech. "I was annoyed that they did not allow her to speak. So I decided to shout out the slogans 'Jai Bheem' and 'Allahu Akbar' and the combination of those two slogans as you know shocks people, so all the cameras were on me," Vicky said. Vicky thinks that it might have been this that made the police suspicious but he can't confirm it.
He says he was also detained by the police when he was protesting along with the locals in Pondicherry. But this again, he cannot be sure of. Vicky said he was out for a walk after dinner when he a friend who was driving by stopped to tell him that the police were looking for him.
What Vicky doesn't understand, is why the police would go door to door to each hostel instead of just getting his information from the administration. "If they find anything suspicious about me, they can go directly to go to the administration and ask about me. Find out and come straight to my room, why would they go door to door," he explained. Worried about his safety, Vicky said he left campus.
But he decided to come back yesterday on the day of convocation. Throughout the day though, Vicky said he was followed by two men. "They followed me and my friends wherever we went. When I asked them why they were following me, they said it was their duty. When I demanded to know who gave them this duty, they just walked away," he said.
Vicky's friend who knows the security personnel very well, also told him that the security sent him Vicky's picture and asked for all his contact details. But his friend refused. "But they obviously saw me when I came back so they must have seen me and informed the police. That's why they ended up at the campus following me," he said.
Despite his friends urging him to not return to campus, and even though he was afraid, he decided not to succumb to any pressure. "I did not do anything wrong so why did I have to run run away. They cannot bully people and I will not allow them to mentally torture me this way."