As the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections come closer, the SFI (Students’ Federation of India) has come out with allegations of being attacked by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
During the early hours of 26th August, members of the SFI were putting up posters near North Campus’ Vijay Nagar drain. As recalled by eyewitnesses, men in a Scorpio showed up which had posters supporting the ABVP and Sahil Malik, ABVP’s likely presidential candidate for this year. Minutes later, a Swift pulled over and men emerged with hockey sticks and ‘a stick with numerous nails on it’.
The men demanded to the SFI members that they pull the posters down, outnumbered, they obliged. But minutes later, the men attacked the members of SFI.
The three injured activists are Noel, Sumit, and Himanshu. One of them suffered a head injury and the other suffered two fractures in his hands.
DU Beat spoke to Himanshu, who suffered a fracture in his hand. He stated, “We rushed to the hospital in a cab, after that, we went to the Maurice Nagar police station but the case was moved to the Model Town police station.” Himanshu alleges that Sahil Malik was also a part of the gang that attacked him.
Anagha, another eyewitness who escaped the attack recalls the ordeal, “There were a lot of females present so we tried to negotiate to not escalate the situation but as soon as we started removing the posters, the men attacked us. Some of us ran to safety. Sumit is currently hospitalised. Noel has a head injury.”
Members of the SFI gathered at the Faculty of Arts on solidarity with organisations like Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), Pinjra Tod Collective and All India Students’ Association (AISA). The gathering raised slogans against hooliganism, the culture of violence and the ABVP. The sloganeering continued as people took turns to speak out against the culture of violence in DU.
Not the first attack.
This isn’t the first alleged attack on the SFI. Previously, multiple allegations of SFI members being attacked in the North Campus lanes have surfaced on social media.
On the 17th of May, members of the SFI were attacked by unidentified men, allegedly from the ABVP. On the same at the Faculty of Arts, Sidharth Yadav, Delhi Secretary of the ABVP refuted the allegations calling them ‘baseless’ and ‘old tactics’.
Earlier this year as well, videos of SFI members being attacked at the Vishwavidyala metro station had emerged.
Do the repeated attacks deter the SFI?
“I will continue with my activism despite the attacks. I don’t think it has deterred any of my comrades; in fact, our numbers have grown. We’ve only been more motivated to fight back. It has fueled us to go forward with our movement.” says Anagha with a hopeful smile.
On the other hand, Monika from the ABVP denied the allegations, she stated “No, as far as our info is concerned none of the ABVP members was involved in the attack. Since, DUSU elections are approaching and ABVP is getting student’s trust and moving in a positive direction. That’s why they are defaming us.”
Sidharth Yadav, the Delhi Secretary of the ABVP was unavailable for comments. Sahil Malik did not respond to DU Beat’s messages.
Feature Image Credits: Jaishree Kumar for DU Beat