By Amir Malik
A Students Federation of India (SFI) activist, also a Dalit, was hit on his head allegedly by an ABVP member on the night of September 5, on Thursday, during the presidential debate in the run-up to the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union ( JNUSU) election.
He was immediately taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) where he was kept under observation till morning.
The injured Venkatesh Posagalla, an MPhil student from the Centre for Political Studies (CPS), is a native of Andhra Pradesh. He is the present vice-president of the SFI’s JNU unit.
“I condemn the physical violence committed on Venkatesh by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad member,” said Jitendra Suna, the presidential candidate from the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Organisation (BAPSA) and FRATERNITY alliance.
Coming down on the ABVP’s violence, SFI’s presidential candidate Aishe Ghosh said that last year too, the ABVP members had indulged in hooliganism. “We won’t tolerate this anymore,” she said.
Prashant Kumar, the National Students Union of India (NSUI) presidential candidate, said, “I, as a Gandhian, condemn any sort of violence.”
Aishe Ghosh alleged that ABVP members from outside JNU had also come to the campus with intent to create ruckus. “When asked to stop obstruction in the flow of my speech and let people sitting at the back listen to it, the far-right organisation’s members started beating the students with knuckle dusters,” she said.
“If the far right thinks that by attacking students from marginalised backgrounds, they can achieve something, they are wrong,” said Aishe Ghosh.
Some students, on the condition of anonymity, said that much like last year, ABVP was trying to create panic and fear by taking recourse to violence and hooliganism as the JNUSU election is to be held on Friday, September 6.
“The ABVP wants to extend their politics of money and muscle into the campus but JNU has always stood against communalism. They would be rejected again,” said a confident Aishe Ghosh.