Other States

University, college campuses across State erupt in protest

Loud and clear: People protest the JNU attack, on Fergusson College Road in Pune on Monday.

Loud and clear: People protest the JNU attack, on Fergusson College Road in Pune on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Jignesh Mistry

NCP, Cong. youth members clash with ABVP in Nashik

The attack on students and teachers at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi by alleged members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) evoked a storm of condemnation from students, student groups and politicians across Maharashtra on Monday.

Protests against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and the ABVP erupted on college campuses in different parts of the State, including the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and the Abasaheb Garware College in Pune, and the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad. There were protests in other parts of Pune as well, including Good Luck Chowk.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Supriya Sule said such incidents were lowering India’s standing at the global level. “The spirit of liberal thinking prevalent at JNU has always been the country’s pride. It is unfortunate that the Central government has been repeatedly targeting the institution,” she said, demanding a thorough investigation.

Targeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the breakdown of law and order, Ms. Sule said, “Any such attack on an educational establishment is utterly shocking. What kind of signals are we sending internationally? This kind of violence on the campus of an eminent educational institute also raises a question mark on the country’s unity.”

Meanwhile in Nashik, tension reigned late in the afternoon as members of the National Students’ Union of India (the Congress’s youth wing) and the NCP youth wing clashed with ABVP activists. The two factions nearly came to blows when the NCP workers attempted to storm an ABVP branch in the city, prompting intervention by the police.

Earlier, several students of the Abasaheb Garware College in Pune protested against the Central government and the Delhi Police, raising slogans and carrying placards against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Shah and accusing the police of repressing the voice of JNU students.

The SPPU campus saw a spirited protest in solidarity with the JNU students. “The country is being brought to the brink of lawlessness owing to constant attacks on students. The aggressors are usually those upholding right-wing, regressive Hindutva ideas. The unfortunate result of this unabating series of attacks has been to give a bad name to the students’ movement in general, while jettisoning vital issues like fees, education, and concern about syllabus and lodgings in general,” Kuldeep Ambekar, leader of the student wing of the Loktantrik Janata Dal United, said.

He accused the Modi government of nurturing a socially divisive disposition among students and backing hooliganism for the BJP’s petty political gains.

“The hooliganism of the ABVP and RSS-backed goons inside the JNU campus is emblematic of the rule of fascist forces in this country today. This attack is an assault on the community of teachers and students and the very idea of JNU, which has contributed in making spaces in other universities more liberal. Violence of any scale is violence itself. This shameful incident should be condemned by all students in the country. If we stay silent and meek, our campus could turn into another JNU tomorrow,” said Ishwari Kale from Pune’s S.P. College.

The ABVP, meanwhile, also held a protest at the SPPU, blaming Left groups for the JNU attack.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 9:38:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/university-college-campuses-across-state-erupt-in-protest/article30498295.ece

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