ABVP Storms Campus, Threatens Students of MSU Baroda

Yesterday, the 17th of February, at noon, students of the Faculty held an open forum, where among other things we discussed the institutional murder of Rohith Vermula at HCU and the recents events at JNU. A few posters discussing some of the issues around these cases, along with a poem by an Iranian poet were put up. At 8 pm last night, ABVP goons barged into the Faculty, shut down the studios and harassed a student taking prints in the Graphics department, because he happened to be carrying a sheaf of papers, accusing him of writing the posters, which they then ripped up.

This morning, Special Security forces and members of the ABVP and the VHP were prowling inside the premises; the normal number of University guards were also doubled, some of them following specific groups of students around. A few of them, came up to students, brandishing an article in a Gujarati newspaper, which ran a photograph of the posters, with the words ‘JNU’ circled, and interrogated students obscenely about who had put them up. Just after 3 in the afternoon, a crowd of about 20-30 men, and one woman,(none of whom were from the Faculty of Fine Arts) had gathered in front of the banyan tree in the center of our campus, with saffron ABVP flags, shouting slogans like “Hum anti-nationals ko dekh lenge! Hum Baampanthi ko dekh lenge! Haar Afzal-ke ghar me ghus ke, usko nikaal ke usko marengey!” (“We’ll see to the anti-nationals! We’ll see to the Left-wingers! We’ll drag every Afzal from their house and kill them!”) and began to march around our campus.

Having done a round, they began to demonstrate in front of the media, who had gathered by then, shouting “Jo nehi bolta hai ‘Jai Hind, Jai Krishna, Jai Raam!’, usko hum desh se nikaal denge!” (Those who do not say take “Hail to the country, hail to Krishna and Ram” will be kicked out of the country!). They then went on to tell the media that this was merely a small demonstration of their might, and that they would be back on Saturday, at the Faculty, which would be the starting point of their rally.

We are a college of about 300 people, part of a University of nearly 40,000, where neither the administration, nor the students will side with us (in fact, the security staff of the University actively assisted the ABVP) in the BJP heartland of Gujarat. We have been threatened, and we are afraid. But we will not be silenced.

Report by Abhijan Gupta

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