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Clashes at DU’s Ramjas college over cancellation of invite to Umar Khalid, Shehla Rashid

NEW DELHI: Delhi University’s Ramjas college today saw clashes between RSS-backed ABVP and Left-affiliated AISA over cancellation of a seminar invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid terming them “anti-nationals”.

RSS’ student-wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had yesterday locked down the Ramjas college seminar room and pelted stones in protest against an invitation to JNU students to address a seminar saying they are “anti-nationals”.

The college authorities had to withdraw the invitation to Khalid, who was charged with sedition last year, and Shehla who was face of the movement demanding release of the students arrested in that case.

A section of teachers, students and members of left- affiliated All India Students’ Association (AISA), who were agitated over the college’s decision to “bow down” to “threat to freedom of speech” had decided to march to Maurice Nagar police station demanding action against ABVP members for alleged vandalism.

The ABVP members, however, did not allow the march to proceed and allegedly locked the students and teachers inside Ramjas college while AISA members tried to barge inside the premises to “rescue the captives”.

“The students have been locked inside and those trying to come out were beaten up by ABVP goons. We tried to barge in inside the college to rescue the students but they are attacking us as well. They have come prepared with hockey sticks,” an AISA member said.

College Principal Rajender Prasad said he is in discussion with the teachers who were organisers of the event and requested both the groups to not disrupt the peace and harmony in the college.

Prasad had yesterday claimed that though the college advocates freedom of speech, the decision was taken keeping the situation in mind.

The two JNU students were earlier invited to take part in a session during a two-day seminar on ‘Culture of Protest’ organised by Wordcraft, Ramjas college’s Literary Society.

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