Published: 04th October 2019
ABVP members had their hands under our kurtas: JNU women allege molestation during protest against Union Minister's lecture
The students who protested against minister Jitendra Singh's lecture in JNU were allegedly harassed and heckled by the ABVP activists
Right from the evening of October 3, different narratives have been circulating in news websites and online portals across the country about how AISA and ABVP clashed in JNU, during a lecture on Article 370, delivered by Union Minister Jitendra Singh. However, student accounts and videos tell us a completely different story. Many women of JNU have accused the ABVP activists of molesting, harassing and heckling them, while they were peacefully protesting against the lecture, in solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
"All of a sudden, a handful of us we were surrounded by 50 to 60 activists of ABVP who hurled abuses at us and started heckling us, without any provocation," says a student on condition of anonymity. "The university guards were right in front of us but they simply watched and took no action. It appeared as if these ABVP activists were told that they could do whatever they want to do," she says.
A video that we have accessed shows a woman student being held by her neck by four men. "Before you even fully realise that someone is holding you by your neck, someone's hand is under your kurta. We felt violated," says the student. "A woman was hit hard on her face. Another was scratched on her waist," she recalls. She also says that the JNUSU too did not come to the protestors' support, despite the students sending constant messages. "Only three councillors, two from BASO and one from the Fraternity came in our support," she says.
"The protestors were exceptionally calm," says another student. "But they were pushed around and scratched by the ABVP goons. They were beaten up," she says. She also confirmed that the women were harassed by ABVP activists. "We tried to make human chains to protect Kashmiri students from being beaten up. But were molested by the right-wingers," she says.
The JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh condemned the incident. "Currently I'm out of campus. But as soon as I'm back, we are planning to organise a public talk in support of the Kashmiri students. The JNUSU members are also talking to the students to find out what happened. We will plan an appropriate course of action soon," she says.
The ABVP, however, denied all the allegations. "To begin with, the protest wasn't peaceful at all. They were hurling slogans against the government. Also, many women activists of ABVP were harassed by these students. We have evidence to prove that," says Nidhi Tripathi, a member of ABVP, JNU.