Delhi University students start indefinite class boycott to stand with victims of anti-Muslim pogrom

The students of English Department, University of Delhi called for an indefinite class boycott and sit-in on Thursday to stand with and assist the victims of the state sponsored attack on the Muslims of North-East Delhi, and the groups and individuals making efforts to restore peace and offer support to them.

The boycott and sit-in saw a good turnout as students from other departments and colleges joined the call.

At least 35 people have been killed in the anti-Muslim violence in northeast Delhi and police and paramilitary forces patrolled the streets in far greater numbers on Wednesday, as swathes of the violence-hit areas were deserted.

“The idea behind the boycott was to break the veneer of normalcy regarding the anti-muslim pogrom happening right now, existing within elite institutions like Delhi University,” organizers told Maktoob.

“We believe that in times when hatred is so openly expressed, resistance can’t afford to be quiet. We seek to mobilise students who can volunteer to work on ground to aid the victims of the state sponsored violence in Northeast Delhi in whatsoever way possible,” they added.

The students demand that the people who are behind this pogrom including BJP MLAs be held accountable.

On 23 February, the BJP leader and former MLA Kapil Sharma issued “an ultimatum” to the Delhi police, to oust the anti-CAA protesters from the Delhi’s roads. On the same day, Hindu right-wing extremists, chanting slogans such as “Jai Shri Ram”— arrived at the Muslim localities in northeast Delhi. The anti-Muslim violence erupted in these localities and escalated the next day.

Muslims and their properties were targeted in the violence led by Hindu right-wing extremists.

The protesting students also said that the attending lectures and seminars and keeping up the facade of normalcy constitute subtle forms of othering by putting up the boundaries of comfort between students who can afford to enter the isolated classrooms silently ignoring the vicious violence perpetrated against muslims and other students who simply cannot because their identites are under attack.

“A human conscience and the lessons that we have been taught in the classrooms require us to offer our assistance to the people who have been affected by this targeted attack on Muslims,” they added.

Students also call out the incompetence of the Home Minister Amit Shah and the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in dealing with the situation and demand that they take prompt action.

“We hold it impossible to smugly walk through the naked bodies, butchered heads, rubble of the mosques and desecrated pages of Quran on the streets to reach our classrooms in order to attend lectures,” students say.

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