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Miranda House Administration Calls Delhi Police to Students’ Bilkis Bano Protest

The students were allegedly intimidated by both the police and the college’s ABVP unit and had to take their protest outside college grounds.


On 5th September, Monday, the administrative division of Miranda House college called the
Delhi Police in a bid to stop a protest on campus. The protest was being held by members of
the All India Students’ Union’s Miranda House wing, against the release of the accused in the Bilkis Bano case.

In the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots, 11 men were given a sentence of lifetime imprisonment for the gangrape of Bilkis Bano and her family members. However, on 15th August 2022, the Gujarat High Court ordered the release of the convicted men as part of a special release scheme on the occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day.

The details of the protest had been announced by AISA Miranda House on their Instagram
page on 31st August, 2022. According to AISA members, there was a strong presence of
Delhi Police officers on the Miranda House campus an hour before the event was set to
begin.

Policewomen at Miranda House
Image Credits: Sobhana

People knew from one day before that the Delhi Police might be present at the venue of the
protest. It seems like this was done in order to scare people away from going there. The
administration itself called the police and this was a very shady move on their part.

a student of Miranda House

According to AISA members, the Delhi Police had contacted them the night before the event
as well, and attempted to intimidate them. On the day of the protest, students from AISA
began to put up posters around 11 AM, and found that 10-15 female constables of the Delhi
Police were present on campus and making rounds. The presence of the police was viewed as an implicit threat by many students. One student said, “It’s like they were just
waiting for us to begin so that they could pounce on us.”

“In a gender minority college like Miranda House, to try and intimate student activists
conducting an event condemning the release of rapists and demanding justice for the
survivor, reveals how far the administration will go to suppress political expression in
students. Miranda has been and will always be a politically vibrant campus. Expression of
outrage is our constitutional right and duty.

Sobhana, Convenor of AISA Miranda House

The protest was also disrupted by members of the ABVP’s Miranda House unit, who called
the AISA members “pseudo-feminists” and accused them of degrading Brahmins.

One of the ABVP members straight up said that 75% of all rape cases are false, and another
came up to me and asked me what caste I belong to.

a Miranda House student present at the scene

The protest was later taken outside the college grounds. However, a few more students
belonging to the ABVP showed up and allegedly caused further disruptions.

They were very aggressive and were pushing people around. Thankfully, they couldn’t do much as the police kept them under control.

a Miranda House student present at the scene

While the protestors and many other students felt the presence of the police was highly inappropriate and condemned the administration for inviting them, some argue that it was a necessary evil and made sure it did not escalate into violence.

I personally support the protest fully, and I understand why people didn’t like what the administration did. I don’t know what their motives were either, maybe they weren’t noble. But I felt safer knowing that policewomen were there to make sure things didn’t turn into what we saw at colleges like Hindu recently.

a Miranda House student present at the scene

Members of the Miranda House administration and the ABVP’s Miranda House unit have not responded to requests for comment on the issue.

Read also: SFI Announces ‘Dhoom Machade’ Bike Caravan Against NEP

Featured Image Credits: Sumedha Gupta

Urmi Maitra
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Urmi loves history and loves books. She is always on the lookout for learning something new, and will happily discuss anything ranging from political theory to jazz. Hopes to be a dog mom someday.