Freedom of Expression

Footage of Alleged ‘Anti-National’ Sloganeering at Ramjas Doctored: Police

ABVP activists at Ramjas College in February. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Delhi police have said that the video clip obtained in connection with the clashes that broke out in Delhi University’s Ramjas College in February looks “apparently doctored”. The video was said to contain footage of alleged “anti national slogans” being raised on the college campus, as well as sloganeering at JNU and other incidents, deputy commissioner of police (crime) Madhur Verma told The Hindu.

According to the Indian Express, The police’s nine-page action taken report (ATR), which was submitted to a Delhi court and has been signed by the joint commissioner of police (crime) Praveer Rajan, stated: “The footage is not clear… as the same has been obtained from unknown social network and media websites, and apparently looks doctored. Hence, in order to establish the same, requests have been sent to different electronic media sources to provide un-edited/raw footage of the incident.”

The footage will be sent for forensic examination, the police said.

On February 22, clashes broke out between the ABVP and the All India Students’ Association, who were protesting the cancellation of a seminar titled ‘Cultures of Protest’, where JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were expected to speak the day before after the ABVP had violently disrupted the event. Subsequently, the ABVP filed a complaint accusing students and teachers of raising “anti national slogans”.

In the ATR, the police has also accused five Delhi University profressors of leading the group that allegedly chanted ant-national slogans at Ramjas, the Hindustan Times reported.

The teachers, from the outset, have maintained that they were not involved in any anti-national slogan shouting at Ramjas College. Prasanta Chakravarty, who teaches at Delhi University, told The Wire, “I am still trying to ascertain the implications of the initial media reports of the ATR. Reports are conflicting. The named professors are responsible teachers. Their academic worth and commitment are time tested. One hopes the investigation would be unbiased and fair.”