Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the right-wing Hindu party, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) unleashed violence on students in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) yesterday (April 27, 2018). They attached a group of student activists who were protesting against the screening of a film which was conducted by ‘Vivekanand Vichar Manch, another platform of ABVP. Students were protesting against the communal nature of the film, which focused on conversions to Islam in Kerala.
JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU has called for a ‘Freedom March’ against violence by ABVP from Ganga Dhaba to Sabarmati tonight (April 28, 2018) at 9 p.m.
Amir Malik, one of the students who escaped the attack, said in a social media post that he felt that the attack was planned. Amir said that he had been threatened by ABVP in the past. In one instance, they had allegedly said ‘we will make you disappear, just like we did to Najeeb.’
Najeeb, a student of JNU, went missing from JNU after an altercation with ABVP members on October 15, 2016. His disappearance which is unresolved to date triggered a series of protests in the country against right-wing violence on campuses.
MLA Jignesh Mewani condemned the violence and said on Twitter that the ‘physical attack on former JNUSU president Mohit Pandey is an attempt to traumatize this fearless youth.’ He demanded immediate arrest of the ABVP followers behind the attack.
Some students have also raised the question as to why ABVP attacked left activist students when the film called ‘In The Name of Love’ was about alleged conversions to Islam. It was said that senior CPI(M) leaders like V. S. Achuthanandan and Brinda Karat were shown in the film as acknowledging that Muslim organizations like Popular Front of India (PFI) were orchestrating conversions to Islam. The left-leaning students who staged the protest had not spoken about this, they said.
Apart from student activists, a security guard also suffered injuries during the attack.