Watch Umar Khalid Exclusive: 'They made graves in Gujarat, now they want to make graves all over the country'
Umar Khalid, the man at the centre of the row betweeen ABVP and AISA who have been at loggerheads in Ramjas over his invite to a literary event, spoke his mind in front of the students and the media Photograph: (WION)
By Puneet Pandeya & Kandarp Rustogi
They are deploying the police to suppress our voices. If that seminar had taken place, then 40-50 people would have attended(big cheer from crowd). ABVP is a coward which tries to throw its weight around in DU, intimidate others. In the last one year be it Hyderabad University, JNU or all universities, we have challenged the ABVP. This is what they want to stop. ABVP, you cannot stop us however much you try. This is no clash between two groups, this is one-sided violence. Organising a seminar is not violence. They call us terrorists, what are they terrorised about? They know whether they kill, Rohith Vemula or Najeeb Ahmad.... no one will take any action against them. We don't have to fear anything but have to wipe out the fear. There are small Narendra Modis and the big Narendra Modi gives lectures... See what sort of things he is saying, what is his government is doing? There will be no talk of food, clothes and housing or demonetisation, development or black money in Uttar Pradesh but only terrorism in these elections....they have just one agenda during the Uttar Pradesh elections - they want to make graves in Uttar Pradesh, they made graves in Gujarat 15 years ago, now they want to make graves all over the country....
JNU student Umar Khalid, who spearheaded a protest of 100 students, outside the Delhi Police headquarters in New Delhi, accused the ABVP of suppressing dissent through violence.
"This is no clash between two groups, this is one-sided violence. Organising a seminar is not violence," the JNU student said.
He also took potshots at the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, accusing it of pushing development issues to the back-burner in the Uttar Pradesh elections and instead only talking about "terrorism".
The protest took place a day after clashes between student groups left several injured at the Ramjas college. It was triggered over an invitation to JNU student Umar Khalid for a literary seminar titled "Cultures of Protest" at Ramjas College.
The two-day event was cancelled after ABVP activists forced the organisers to withdraw the invite to Khalid, who they called "anti-national".
The government has sought a report from Delhi University in connection with the violence, PTI reported.
"I have asked for a report from the University on the issue," Central HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said at a press conference.
PhD scholar Umar Khalid was jailed last year by Delhi Police on sedition charges.