The National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday issued a notice to the Delhi Police over alleged use of excessive force during clashes outside Ramjas College in Delhi University on February 22, reported ANI. The Commission said some journalists were allegedly slapped, punched and kicked by the police personnel.
“The Commission has taken on record complaints as well as media reports making similar allegations including threats to some students on social media,” the NHRC notice read. The police have been given four weeks to submit a detailed report about the incident.
Meanwhile, hundreds of students and teachers of Aligarh Muslim University held a public meeting and a march on Tuesday in protest against “stifling of voices on campuses across the country”, reported PTI. All India Students Association leader in DU, Kanwalpreet Kaur, said, “We want to reclaim the space to discuss and dissent.”
Eminent historian and retired professor of AMU Irfan Habib attended the meeting. He spoke about the “growing fascist tendencies” in India. Habib said the Ramjas College incident was a “new low in the narrative of threat to free speech, democracy and the right to protest in today’s India”. According to him, the February 22 violence was part of a “systematic move to crush India’s tradition of peaceful protests which began nearly two centuries ago during the British rule”. He also spoke about Kaur, who he said was a role model for the country’s youth, reported The Indian Express.
The fiasco began on February 21 when a seminar had to be cancelled after members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad – student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – protested against the participation of Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid Shora. Clashes broke out the following day between the members of All India Students Association and ABVP at Ramjas College.
While several people were injured in the clashes on February 22, some protesters had claimed that the police had assaulted them. Three senior police personnel were suspended on February 23 for high-handedness with media persons and students during the clashes.