Yesterday, the Pondicherry University students were attacked by the police force, for protesting against Tarun Vijay, who came for a program organized by the ABVP in commemoration of Tamil Culture and Ambedkar Jayanti. Tarun Vijay, a politician who has recently come under controversy for his racist remarks against South Indian complexions, was met with a group of protesters shouting ‘Racist go back’, which the stationed police force, and RSS organizers did not entertain.
The students were attacked, dragged and physically and verbally abused by the police force, who claimed to have gotten permission from a ‘higher authority’. The Vice Chancellor told the protesters later that she had not given permission for the program or the police to enter the campus. The university had recently issued a circular stating that no politician can come inside the campus for a program organized by the students.
More than 16 students were arrested during the scrabble, which made the protesters more agitated. “We were protesting very peacefully. All we did was to raise slogans. We did not initiate any sort of violence, and yet the police attacked us without any initiation”, said Anna Keerthy, a student protester. The arrested students were released later on in the night, but the V.C claimed that she did not give any permission to the police to do so and proper action will be taken against the police for attacking and arresting students inside the campus.
The Program conducted by ABVP, had very little audience. Anannya Madonna, says, “ It’s a shame that the ABVP unit actually called a man who out rightly not only insulted and humiliated one whole part of India but also tried to assert the North Indian dominance by making us South Indians look like second grade citizens in our own country.” There was almost no audience in the program. The majority of the people who were there over the venue were the protesters, media persons and the police, who were pushed out of the venue when the protest began.
The protest organizers have given a complaint to the V.C against the program organizers and the police force. The V.C assured the crowd of taking action against the police, program organizers and registrar who gave permission for the program.
Photo – Anannya G Madonna
Rabeeha Abdurehim is a masters student of mass communication in Pondicherry University