Published: 11th April 2022
#JNUClash: Delhi police detains students protesting against violence in JNU
The Delhi police have also registered an FIR against unidentified ABVP students for allegedly instigating the violence. JNU's statement in line with ABVP's version of events
The Delhi Police on Monday, April 11, detained around 20 students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University who were protesting against the violence that broke out on campus on April 10. From among the students who were protesting at the Police Headquarters in the national capital, three students were also detained at the Parliament Street Police Station. The students, who belonged to Left-leaning student organisations such as the Students' Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Students Association (AISA) had been demonstrating against the alleged actions of some students from the RSS-affiliated ABVP, who tried to heckle mess workers and students at the Kaveri Hostel at JNU on Sunday for serving non-vegetarian food on Ram Navami.
In an official statement released by the Registrar of JNU today, the administration says the scuffle was a result of one group of students objecting to a hawan (puja) that was conducted at the Kaveri Hostel on the occasion of Ram Navami. The statement doesn't make any mention of non-vegetarian food, but said that the administration had nothing to do with the menu of the hostel's mess. The statement also says, "Later in the night, Vice-Chancellor, JNU Prof Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, visited Kaveri Hostel and took stock of the situation," and has appealed to all sides to show restraint. Videos of sloganeering, stone-pelting and scuffles between the students have gone viral on social media. For now, security has been beefed up around the campus.
The detained students were taken to the Tughlak Road Police Station. The students now claim that the police used force to detain them. "AISA activists who came to protest at Delhi Police Headquarters have been violently detained. Women protesters were manhandled by male personnel, their clothes pulled. Several have been injured by the Delhi Police. We have been detained inside Tughlak Road Police Station," said Prasanjeet K, a member of the AISA.
In a joint statement, the Left organisations condemned the alleged imposition of food habits on students and drew parallels with some current events in the country. "The imposition of food habits and attacking students follow a pattern of bullying of Muslims and dissenters across the country by the RSS and its affiliate organisations. Be it in Karnataka where Muslim fruit sellers are being targetted or in Delhi where the SDMC Mayor illegally asked all meat and fish shops to be closed during Navratri, the RSS and BJP want to impose their Brahminical worldview on others with scant respect for the right to food habits and respect of diversity and difference guaranteed by the Constitution to all citizens of this country," it said.
The Delhi Police has also filed an FIR against "unidentified" ABVP members. However, the students from the RSS-affiliated organisation have been vehemently denying allegations of their involvement in the violence yesterday. "It is propaganda by the communists. What happened yesterday was not supposed to happen. They tried to harm members of the Kaveri Hostel mess and then placed the blame on us," claims Adarsh Jha, Media Convenor of the ABVP's JNU unit.
Sidharth Yadav, who is the National Media Convenor of the ABVP tells Edexlive, "The issue of veg and non-veg has nothing to do with what happened on the spot. There was also an iftar party going on simultaneously. The Left-leaning organisations were unable to bear a large number of students organising the puja that does not align with their thoughts," which reflects the version of events as stated in the JNU Registrar's press release.