Campaigners are here in support of Irom Sharmila's struggle for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act

Civil rights campaigners on a yatra from Kashmir to Guwahati in support of Irom Sharmila's struggle for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act were attacked by alleged Right wing activists at Delhi University on Wednesday.

The yatris had reached the Capital on Wednesday and gathered at Delhi University in the afternoon to carry out a symbolic walk when they were pelted with stones. The situation then spiralled into a full-blown confrontation and the police had to be called in.

“The yatris had planned a symbolic walk around the Arts Faculty building of the university and were joined by student activists supporting their cause. Suddenly, we were joined by a big group of men who chanted slogans like ‘Bharat Mata ki jai' and ‘Vande Mataram' before they started pelting stones at us. We fought back till the police arrived sometime later and managed to calm everyone down,” said Sunny, a member of the All-India Students' Association, who was with the yatris during the confrontation.

Both groups refused to back down and the police had to play mediator before the perpetrators of the attack finally retreated.

However, the yatris' troubles did not end there. “They wanted to proceed with their symbolic walk and were just about to start when the police intervened and said they had enough and ordered them to leave. We told them we had permission from the police but they refused to listen and detained the protesters,” said another student activist.

“We as student activists are used to being bundled into police vans during protests. But the older yatris were thoroughly humiliated at being pushed into police vans and being made to give their names and addresses at the police station,” added Sunny.

However, DCP (North Delhi) I.B. Rani said: “Only 12 persons from an organisation called ‘Save Democracy' were detained for some time. They were taken into custody as a preventive measure.”

The yatris were due to proceed to IIT-Delhi and then to JNU in the evening

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