Delhi University students campaigning for the release of Dr GN Saibaba and four others were beaten up allegedly by members of the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Thursday.
Further, when the students were seeking treatment for their injuries at Hindu Rao hospital, the protestors alleged that 40-50 people surrounded the hospital and threatened them.
“We were holding a campaign to spread awareness on GN Saibaba’s unjust incarceration. Out of the blue 40-50 ABVP students attacked us with lathis (batons). Many students were injured,” said Ravinder Singh, a final year law student and the incumbent president of Bhagat Singh Chatra Ekta Manch.
The students, around 10-12 in number, were a part of Delhi University’s Bhagat Singh Chatra Ekta Manch. The students have been conducting a “Campaign against the injustice and for the release of GN and others” in view of GN Saibaba’s arrest under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The campaign against state repression will also include a public meeting titled “Thoughts Criminalised: Story of GN Saibaba and comrades” on December 5.
Ravinder further said that while some of the alleged attackers had the Aam Aadmi Party’s flag tied to their knee, he was certain that they all were from the ABVP.
“A friend of mine was hit with a brick, another was pinned down and beaten up,” said Rajveer, another protester while speaking to Siasat.com.
“They said that if we step out of the hospital, they will attack us again. This threat was given in front of police officials,” remarked Ehtmam, a law graduate from Jamia Millia Islamia who is part of the campaign.
Siasat.com spoke to three of the students (two of whom were injured) over a WhatsApp video call. Akshnegi, a DU Bachelors student, remarked that they were protesting as they believed that Saibaba’s arrest was arbitrary and unjust.
Further, Ehtmam said that there was no valid reason for the Bombay High Court’s verdict acquitting the five men to be stayed by the Supreme Court and added that the campaign was in favour of political prisoners.
The arrest of GN Saibaba and the remaining four men (a fifth accused Pandu Narote died in police custody) garnered significant media attention owing to allegations of them being Maoists. Saibaba, an advocate of Adivasi rights, had in the past condemned Operation Green Hunt, a military offensive launched by the then Congress government in 2009 with the sole aim of crushing Maoist rebels across the tribal belt of India.