By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
Jan 11, Delhi Police’s press conference on the JNU issue yesterday was deeply disappointing though not surprising given the nature of the political pressure on the police and ‘ready to do anything’ variety of officers allegedly violating commitment to the constitution of India.
JNU faced unprecedented violence on the night of January 5 when masked goons attacked the university students and faculty members, as the administration watched silently and police did not intervene. The hollowness of police claims was exposed by various new-portals how the JNUSU president tried to contact the police but remained unresponsive. The visuals of teachers and student being beaten with iron rods shocked the nation and exposed the ABVP which has become a lawless militia of ruling party to threaten the dissent and divergent views.
The images of the President of JNUSU Aishe Ghosh beaten with rods should remind us how the goons and thugs being trained to threaten and intimidate women activists. A woman teacher too was thrashed and she was admitted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
But what happens after five days ? The Delhi police show the ‘photographs’ of the ‘accused’ of the JNU violence, name AISA, SFI and AISF for the violence but do not speak a single sentence about the ABVP, the organisation accused by most of the students as instigating and indulging in the violence against the students. The entire press conference looked like a well planned ‘narrative’ setter for the evening news, particularly those who started the campaign ‘tukde tukde gang’. The slaves started chanting ‘goons unmasked’ and shamelessly started calling Aishe Ghosh, the JNUSU president a goon. It is terrible that police and the media are trying to create such an impression when a young student leader, who happens to be a girl, is being portrayed as a goon or a criminal while those who destroyed property, hit at the students remained unidentified till date as per police version. Who will police the police? Who will investigate their complicity in the entire episode?
Police all over the country hast never been as unprofessional as today. Former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, Mr Vikram Singh openly castigated the Delhi police and blamed them for their mischief. They can’t investigate an issue in which they are accused. The problem is, people have lost faith in all the government agencies. The courts are the last resort but they too have been too slow and some time preachy on these issues that they have terribly disappointed us. Yet, we will still feel that a multimember judicial commission can be formed to look into major cases of police complicity in both Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to give a broader framework to discipline the police.
India Today’s expose has unmasked the Delhi police’s political complicity with the JNU goons. Delhi police will have to work doubly hard but they will not succeed unless their officer come out of the mindset which has already declared students other than ABVP as criminal or ‘urban naxal’. We know politicians and their petty politics rule today, and often preside over department which once interrogated them. But at the end of the day, it is the police administration as well as bureaucracy which has to function and act. We all know that police and administration has to work under the government and there are pressures on them, but if the police work where their complicity is openly visible and innocent are being booked while the goons are being let off then the time for all of us to worry. It is time for the Supreme Court to intervene.
We have faith in our highest court but in our life timings are very important. If a decision come after five month of a state under complete internet ban then what does it mean. How will court’s order benefit individuals if they are unimplementable or do not benefit directly. The courts are giving great judgement but it is time they do more. The country is in a serious crisis as political leadership feel that anarchy suits them well politically and that by polarising people they would be ensuring their return. People have to remain vigilant against such ideas and continue with their struggle.
Supreme Court has ordered that section 144 is not a temporary thing and can not be used every now and then to stop political dissent. Similarly it has declared internet as fundamental rights. Will now the government and the administration think of these things according to Supreme Court guidelines. We hope good sense will prevail and government will not criminalise the students who do not agree with it.
It is time to seriously listen to their voices and concern and not to divide them between ‘nationalists verses nationalists’. How can a party or a leadership be so crude to term their own countrymen as anti national? Time has come to stop uttering these words and listen to the voices protesting and take back all the cases against students and other activists who protesting against the act. Government has to take initiative and not dictate and dominate through its ministers and administration. Withdraw all the cases JNUSU leaders and file cases against those who spread goondaism and terror on the campus and damaged property. Will the police have the courage and independence to do so?