Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur on Tuesday said she had dropped out of the #StudentsagainstABVP [Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad] campaign. In a series of tweets, Kaur said the campaign was about her fellow students and “not about me”. “I have been through a lot and this is all my 20 year self could take,” she said. Her mother told India Today that Kaur has left Delhi.
Kaur also asked people to participate in a march organised by the All India Students Association and the National Students Union of India. “One thing is for sure, next time we will think twice before resorting to violence or threats and that’s all this was about,” she said. “To anyone questioning my courage and bravery...I’ve shown more than enough.”
The Delhi Police on Tuesday filed an FIR in connection with threats made to Kaur on social media. The student had approached officials on Monday, after she was threatened with rape and violence on social media.
The student has been at the centre of a controversy since a picture of her holding a placard against the ABVP went viral. The placard read, “I am a student of Delhi University. I am not afraid of the ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me.”
She was given protection by the Delhi Commission for Women after she said that she had received online threats against her. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will meet Lieutenanat Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday to demand police action against ABVP. However, the ABVP has written to the police asking that action be taken against those threatening Kaur. The right-wing outfit has said the accused are not from the ABVP, according to The Indian Express.
Kaur was mocked by cricketer Virender Sehwag and patronised by Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s intellectual Rakesh Sinha said that Kaur was “trolling” her father, an Army captain who died during the 1999 Kargil War.
Faculty members of Lady Shri Ram College’s English Department, led by Madhu Grover, have released a statement supporting her. On Facebook, Grover said:
We, the faculty members of the English Department, Lady Shri Ram College unequivocally and strongly support our student Gurmehar Kaur and her right to express her opinion on issues that embroil our university. It is immensely gratifying to us as her teachers that she has responded sensitively, creatively and bravely to events in her immediate context rather than seek the safe refuge of silence. We feel that it is the bounden duty of educational institutions to nurture sensitive, responsive and critical thinking students without the fear of violent retaliation. We are proud that Gurmehar has fulfilled her duty as a young citizen of this country. The threats of violence and brutality that she faces are absolutely reprehensible. Responses on social media by public figures such as VirendraSehwag and RandeepHooda are shameful trivialization of the intimidation that Gurmehar faces at the hands of violent mobs whose viciousness the university has recently witnessed.
We fervently appeal to the good sense of the public and to institutions of redressal to help restore our faith in law and justice in our country and let our young citizens think and articulate without fear of intimidation.
Rita Joshi, Madhu Grover, Rukshana Shroff, ArtiMinocha, Maya Joshi, ShernazCama, Mitali Mishra, Arunima Ray, DiptiNath, Maitreyee Mandal, JanetLalawmpuii, Ngangom Maheshkanta Singh, Karuna Rajeev, Wafa Hamid, Jonathan Varghese, TaniyaSachdeva, Rachita Mittal.— Madhu Grover/Facebook