AUD peace march turns violent, students blame university admin authorities

The peace march was a method for the students to show solidarity with the minorities affected in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri violence 
At the venue | (Pic: Sourced)
At the venue | (Pic: Sourced)

The students belonging to SFI (Students' Federation of India) from Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) had organised a peace march on April 21, 2022 to show their solidarity with those evicted from their houses at Jahangirpuri, Delhi, and to protest against the general spread of violence in the area. The peace march, however, came to take the shape of a violent face-off between the university authorities and the students.

While the university authorities claimed that holding protests over political issues was not allowed on the campus, they were also against the posters that the students had prepared for holding the march. Anil Sethumadhavan, President of SFI AUD, said that while they were holding the peace march, everything was fine at first. But then the Registrar, Proctor and other members of the administration came to disrupt their march, stating that the march must be ended as such a thing was not allowed. “We were ready to comply and had decided to hold just a gathering and discussion in front of the library. But they had problems with the posters too,” Anil said.

He explained that the authorities had tried to tear off the posters and even said that student unions were not meant for the university ecosystem. “Remove posters and banners. No political posters and banners are allowed. Organisations cannot hold gatherings,” Anil recalled and quoted the authorities’ words. He also explained, “Confrontations like these are not new and have been happening for years. But this time, the authorities resorted to manhandling. And that is not acceptable.” He also said that the students had been calmly conversing with the Proctor and Registrar, but they started manhandling the students all of a sudden.

Taken by surprise
Commenting further on the incident, he said that two students were thrown to the ground. “And many students who had participated in the march are suffering from severe body pains, which has led to their parents being extremely concerned,” he added. He also stated that everything had been recorded on a video shot by the students at the time of the incident, so as to retain the veracity of their statement against the university authorities.

“We were surprised and traumatised,” Anil stated, referring to the treatment they received from the authorities. “If a university tries to cut down on or completely ban student body organisations, it is frightening for the entire student community,” he said. “They did not agree to us even holding a discussion in front of the library, opposing to our posters. But we could not comply to their demand of discarding our posters, mostly due to the fear that if we listen to them every time, they will continue to use the power of violence against us. This has been continuing for a long time,” he added.

The peace march was a method for the students to show solidarity with the minorities. As to what the university has said about the unfortunate violence, Anil said, “They have not said anything. It has also not affected the way our academic life functions. So, even we have not taken any course of action yet. But we are planning to approach the Delhi government, the concerned officials and ministers especially, and have them take action against the university administration members. We have planned some other movements too, but nothing very specific. Nonetheless, we have planned a Twitter storm today evening (April 23).”

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