Re: Public Meeting on 'Communalism, Fascism and Democracy', Arts faculty, University of Delhi
Seems that the meeting had been disrupted by AVBP members. The members started hurling abuses and spitting on one of the speakers as soon as the meeting was about to begin. I guess if they vadid grievances they should have expressed them in a democratic manner, for after all this was a public meeting where every body was invited to express their opinion and have free discussions. Please click on the following URL to access the news article which appeared on the event. http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/07/stories/2008110757271200.htm
CHAOS AT MEETING: S.A.R. Geelani (centre), acquitted by the Supreme Court in the Parliament attack case, trying to calm down a person who confronted a student (right) who spat on him while he was attending a seminar in Delhi on Thursday.
NEW DELHI: Protesting against the presence of S. A. R. Geelani, who was acquitted by the Supreme Court in the Parliament attack case, activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Thursday vandalised the Arts Faculty building at Delhi University where a seminar was in progress. A protester even spat on Mr. Geelani.
A lecturer at Zakir Husain College, Mr. Geelani had been invited by a newly formed group, University Community, to chair a meeting on 'Communalism, Fascism and Democracy: Rhetoric and Reality' in Room No. 22 of the Arts Faculty building on the North Campus.
"Mr. Geelani had just taken his seat when a person sitting in the audience walked up to the dais and spat on his face twice. ABVP activists who were sitting in the room then got up and hurled abuses at the participants and even attacked them. It was a pre-planned attempt to disrupt the meeting," said Budhaditya Das, a member of University Community, an independent group of teachers and students at the university.
Protesting ABVP activists.
"Delhi University Students' Union president Nupur Sharma was also among them. Other ABVP activists broke the microphone and upturned chairs. They also threatened two senior journalists who were speakers at the meeting. We managed to push them out, but they continued to vandalise the place, pelting stones and breaking window panes," he added.
Some ABVP activists were detained by the police and released later. However, ABVP leader Vikas Dahiya maintained that "outsiders" accompanying Mr. Geelani had misbehaved with the activists from his organisation.
"Why was he called in the first place? He was involved in such a sensitive issue. The organisers had also distributed objectionable pamphlets targeting a particular community. Besides they did not have the university's permission to hold such a meeting," Mr. Dahiya alleged.
The organisers claimed they had the necessary permission. Even though they were planning a protest demonstration against the vandalism on Friday, Mr. Geelani himself had not lodged any complaint with the police.
Speaking to The Hindu, he said: "This is the fascist agenda coming out in the open. Everyone has a right to protest, but it should be done in a democratic way. You can't destroy the university property. You can shout slogans but these people were showering abuses. Such people are trying to shrink the democratic space."
Questioning the "mysterious role" played by the police, Mr. Geelani said: "It was surprising that all the vandalism and property destruction happened in the police's presence. The university authorities called me up and the organisers saying that our meeting could not go on because it was creating a law and order problem. This is a very undemocratic attitude."
Some teachers led by DUTA joint secretary Sanjay Kumar later met the Pro-Vice-Chancellor demanding action against those involved in the incident. Deputy Proctor M.M. Rehman said an inquiry would be conducted.
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