The Wire is reproducing a sample of some of the complaints against ABVP activists and supporters that the victims of the February 22, 2017 incidents of violence at Ramjas college, Delhi University submitted. Though these complaints have been filed with the police, we have withheld the actual names of the students in the event that they are targeted by goons on campus.
Statement by female student V
This is to bring to your notice the instances of repeated violence brought by members of the ABVP in Delhi University on 22nd February 2017. A peaceful protest march- DU Fights Back- was organised against violence by the ABVP which had occurred the previous day, 21 February at Ramjas College. The March was to take place from Ramjas College to Maurice Nagar Police Station.
As we assembled at Ramjas College at 1 pm, members of ABVP including ex-president Satender Awana, Sunny Deda, Amit Tomar, Pragya Malik, Priyanka Chawri, Ankit Sangham, Anumeha Nagar, Mahumedha and others came out of Ramjas College and repeatedly attacked students and teachers and members of the march by beating, hitting, punching, pushing to the road, scratching and pelting stones. The protest was attacked in front of Ramjas College and later throughout the march till the Maurice Nagar Police Station. ABVP members engaged in violence and also threatened women and made several sexual gestures at them. Each of these instances of violence happened in front of the police that was deployed. The police are themselves witness to repeated instances of assault. Despite pointing to people who engaged in violence in front of the police they were neither arrested nor detained. Several of the complainants and those who were part of the DU Fights Back protest have video footage of the violence and can present it as evidence.
Kindly register an FIR against Satyendra Awana, Sunny Deda, Amit Tomar, Pragya Malik, Priyanka Chawri, Ankit Sanghwan, Anumeha Nagar and Mahumedha and other members of ABVP.
Statement by female student A
A group of students were cornered (including myself) near the college canteen where stones had been pelted previously. We could not move from that spot for about 4-5 hours as members of ABVP surrounded the group and stated threatening us to either leave or get beaten up. Despite the police being present, ABVP members managed to beat up students who were peacefully sitting outside the canteen. A boy’s nose was broken but he could not be given medical assistance. Because of the gherao by ABVP students we could not leave the campus because they were beating up students and professors at the gate. Despite requesting them, the police refused to bring in more force for a long time.
Statement by female student P
A female ABVP activist grabbed a fellow protester by her hair, and as I tried to protect her, she grabbed me by my hair. When the police took her away, she came running back and slapped me in the face. A male ABVP activist pointed to his crotch and said ‘lo lekar jao aazadi’. A friend got hit by a stone and another fellow protester who was recording the whole event was pushed, beaten and her camera smashed. Later on, a friend got rape threats on her phone for putting up the video of the event as an Instagram story.
Statement by female students U, Y, B
We were sitting on the road and shouting slogans when suddenly people started running. We realised the police had started lathi charging. We got trampled in the stampede, ran into an alley, and were followed and manhandled by the policemen. Our friend was assaulted. Our hijabi friend was dragged by her hijab and slapped. We were chased and given rape threats by ABVP goons while the police just stared.
Statement by female student D
I was taking part in the peaceful protest yesterday, 22nd Feb, 2017, outside the Maurice Nagar Police station to file an FIR against the ABVP concerning the turn of events at Ramjas the previous day. As we were listening to the police woman addressing us, I was grabbed by two policemen who dragged me on the road while also hitting me on my head and beating me up. They took me behind the police bus. From inside the bus I saw several of my friends being beaten up by the police. ABVP men were calling out rape threats and chasing my female friends towards Hudson Lane. I saw another female friend of mine being dragged by her hair by a policeman when her male friend was being badly beaten up. We were detained in the bus and were taken around Delhi and dropped at Hauz Khas metro station.
Statement by female student L
We both got injured by the ABVP when they attacked us and our fellow peace marchers. I got hit on the face and fell, injuring my legs. My friend was pulled out of the crowd and beaten up by 5-6 ABVP goons, and managed to escape when a couple of policemen decided to intervene. We went to the thana to file an FIR, and were finally allowed to register our complaints after two hours of arguing with the police. We were told that we would have to be escorted to a hospital by the police to get a medical evaluation done, for evidence. After waiting for half an hour, with nothing to tend to our injuries, we travelled in a police van with three escorts to a nearby hospital. Inside the hospital, our injuries were trivialised. Since we didn’t have any broken bones, or chest problems, our injuries were simply not good enough to be taken seriously. Still, we persisted and MLCs were filed. Then, three ABVP goons swaggered into the hospital. With no visible injuries, they simply complained of having wrist pain, arm pain, etc. Outside, I heard them laughing about faking their injuries and how they wouldn’t let us steal their thunder. My (male) friend and I were being examined in separate rooms, when my friend was called to a small isolated room by one of the cops. He was told to sit down inside, and the three ABVP goons walked in. The cop was simply standing on the side and clearly ignoring everything that happened inside the room. My friend was very sweetly and softly threatened for the next 15 minutes. He was told “we’ll murder you, we’ll rape the girl with you (me), we’ll kill your family, rape all your friends, destroy you and your life, etc. etc.” My friend was absolutely terrified, and the policeman took no notice. My friend didn’t resist, he simply couldn’t say anything, and was scared out of his mind with the kind of threats he was getting. After a while they went out of the room, and my friend got out. But this wasn’t all. We were also told by the police “dont think we support you and what you’re doing, we will only respond if they hit you and not before that, what you’re doing is clearly wrong.” They insisted we accompany them back to the station with the goons, which was clearly a tactic to intimidate us more in the car and in the station. After begging the police to let us go since we had our discharge slips, we were allowed to go. But not before the goons once again surrounded us. They kept asking us who we were, which college we were from (trying to identify and remember us). When we refused to tell them, it turned out that they already knew where to find us. And apparently it was THE POLICE WHO TOLD THEM THIS INFORMATION. Somehow we escaped the hospital, scared out of our wits that they would follow us, too injured to run or fight back, and shaken to our core.
Statement by female student V
After hearing about the violence of the ABVP goons inside and outside Ramjas, my friends and I joined the students sitting in front of the Maurice Nagar Police Station. Our only request was that the police register an FIR against ABVP and give us the number. The police observed us silently for a few minutes and then suddenly began lathi charging us. An acquaintance of mine was dragged out from behind and 4 policemen started beating and dragging him. I tried to stop them from beating him in the process so was also dragged by the male policeman to the bus. There I was forced into the bus. I tried to tell a policeman that my top had been quite torn but instead of saying something he just stared down at my cleavage that had been exposed due to the torn top while other policemen kept pulling at my hair. We were packed in buses and taken to Hauz Khas metro station while the ABVP was not even touched and continued to spread terror in North Campus throughout the night. We were told that ABVP will target us if we go back North and that they are waiting for us at metro stations and chowks in these locales. I’m still scared to go home.