New Delhi: Congress’s youth outfit National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) said its members were attacked by those affiliated to the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
According to the reports, the attack took place during a protest organised by the NSUI at the office of ABVP in the city’s Paldi area. They were protesting the violence on JNU campus, which the NSUI claims was perpetrated by the ABVP.
Videos on social media show an NSUI activist being hit on the head with a rod. He was later identified as Nikhil Savani, Gujarat NSUI general secretary. Savani, a close associate of Congress leader Hardik Patel, was seen being beaten even as police personnel are present at the scene.
Watch how the head of Ahmedabad ABVP and BYJM cadre hit NSUI’s Nikhil Savani on his HEAD WITH AN IRON ROD. He is badly injured and hospitalized.
Other ABVP cadre also attack NSUI members right in front of the cops!
Fascism in action in Gujarat 😠pic.twitter.com/fhOAHXbwQW
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) January 7, 2020
He sustained serious head injuries and was admitted to VS General Hospital in Ahemdabad, a member of the Congress students’ body said.
अभी #JNUattack का मामला शांत भी नहीं हुआ था, अब अहमदाबाद में @ABVPVoice और @nsui के कार्यकर्ता भिड़ गए। इस मारपीट में #nsui के राष्ट्रीय महामंत्री निखिल सवाणी गंभीर रूप से घायल हो गए हैं। सब कुछ पुलिस की मौजूदगी में हुआ। वीडियो में पुलिस को देख सकते हैं।#ABVP #Ahmedabad pic.twitter.com/ITYxoeYo0V
— Gaurav Agrawal (@GauravAgrawaal) January 7, 2020
Media reports said 10 people were injured in ‘clashes’, though it is unclear to which outfit they belonged.
According to PTI, both youth outfits alleged that sticks and stones were used to attack each other, and claimed more than five members each from the two sides were injured in the clash.
In a statement, NSUI said that its members were “brutally attacked” by ABVP, asking the country to unite against “fascist forces” of the government.
Bhavik Solanki, another NSUI general secretary, said that their protest was peaceful. “However, goons from the ABVP suddenly attacked us using sticks, stones and pipes. It was a pre-planned attack in the presence of police. Over five of our members, including Savani, were injured in the attack,”
The NUSI activists were protesting at the ABVP’s office against the attack on students and teachers at JNU in Delhi on January 5. Students who were attacked have said that the ‘masked goons’ were affiliated to the ABVP, a claim that the NSUI has backed. An investigation by The Wire also showed that the attack was planned on WhatsApp by ABVP members.
However, the ABVP alleged that NSUI members came to its office with an intention to attack the activists. “The NSUI members came to our office waiving their flags. They then removed the flags and used its wooden sticks to attack our members,” claimed ABVP member Naresh Desai.
A police official told that the situation “has been brought under control” and that no FIR had been lodged yet.
Reacting to the violence, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor urged NSUI activists to “stay strong”, urging them not to be provoked into “retaliatory violence”.
Stay strong @nsui. Do not be provoked into retaliatory violence. These goons know no better. Never descend to their level. Stand up for the values and ideals of our India. https://t.co/cJa6AincQP
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 7, 2020