THE central executive committee of the Students’ Federation of India, in a statement issued on October 5, has denounced the efforts of ABVP to create anarchy and a reign of terror in the Himachal Pradesh University campus. In the last one-week, ABVP goons have attacked research scholars, girl students and tribal students in the campus. All this is happening in the presence and protection of police and the administration.
ABVP is trying to terrorise the students in the campus and disturb the academic environment. They first attacked a research scholar in his room twice on two consecutive days. They also attacked students reading in the library. President of tribal student union Arun Rana was attacked by the same troop of ABVP goons when he was going to welcome a team of NAAC in the traditional dress. He was dragged out from the vehicle in the presence of police.
ABVP lumpens have been verbally abusing and threatening the girl students of the university. Two girl students of law on October 4 submitted a written complaint to the SP DW Negi and DIG Police accusing ABVP leaders of passing sexist remarks with life threats in the presence of police force, which did not interfere or tried to save the girls. Police’s indifference to these complaints has boosted the morale of these goons who have physically attacked girls in the campus.
A successful 153-day long struggle of students under the leadership of SFI for their demands has completely isolated the ABVP among the student community. This desperation has forced them to use violence as a political tactic to terrorise students and put blame on SFI. BJP too wants to use this situation in its favour, given the fact that both municipal corporation elections and assembly elections are going to be held next year.
ABVP is doing all this at a time when a team of NAAC is visiting HPU campus for grading. Every student understands the importance of such visit and accreditation, which sets the future of institution. This shows the commitment of ABVP towards education and students’ interest. What we are witnessing in HPU is intrinsic to the political culture of ABVP. Their elected president of Delhi University Student Union was seen carrying weapons in the campus.
Shimla Police has acted in a completely biased manner in the entire episode. It chose to do nothing when the first complaint was made against the attack on a research scholar. The situation would have not worsened and this violence could have been prevented if police had taken action on complaint lodged in Summer Hill Chowki by tribal students on September 29 regarding the casteist comments made by the ABVP activists.
Even after continuous incidents of violence in front of police, ABVP leaders continue to roam freely in the campus with weapons. On the other hand, 15 leaders of SFI have been arrested under various charges including attempt to murder. Seven more activists of SFI have been arrested on October 5 under preventive measures. The additional director general, Himachal Police A P Siddiqui himself is misleading media and giving a factually incorrect statement, which has unmasked the dual role of the police.
The CEC of SFI demanded immediate release of the arrested students and action against the culprits. It also demanded an enquiry into all aspects of the incident, including the role of the police administration. If this is not done immediately, then administration better be prepared for another round of militant students’ struggle in Himachal Pradesh, it warned.