ABVP activists attempt to disrupt lecture

An attempt to disrupt the lecture of social activist Teesta Setalvad on the University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus by the activists of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) led to tension on Saturday. But the situation was diffused with the timely intervention of the police and other student groups.

Ms. Setalvad, who is known for her campaign against the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, was here to deliver a lecture on “Politics in Gujarat: Communal violence and quest for Justice”, organised by the Students Union of the University. As she was delivering her lecture a group of ABVP activists raised slogans demanding her to leave the campus.

However, students present at the lecture immediately confronted the slogan-raising activists and moved them out of the Ambedkar auditorium where the lecture was on. Students of various other groups also joined and forced the ABVP activists to leave the premises. Activists of Students Federation of India (SFI), who dominate the Students Union body, said that Ms. Setalvad later delivered her lecture and also answered several questions of the participants.

However, the ABVP activists claimed that she had to leave midway due to their protests. A representative of ABVP said the students union had organised the lecture without informing the two ABVP office-bearers, a charge that is rejected outright by the Students Union. “The decision was taken in the council meeting,” the students union said.

No action taken

The ABVP activists claimed that they raised slogans against Ms. Setalvad only when she made some ‘disparaging’ remarks on Hindu youngsters being communalised. “We objected to her lecture as she expressed some radical views. We represented to the Dean, Students’ Welfare (DSW) against organising the lecture but no action was taken.” he said.

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