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DU student Gurmehar Kaur withdraws campaign against ABVP

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-02-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Delhi University (DU) student Gurmehar Kaur on Tuesday withdrew from her social media campaign against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) after allegedly receiving threats from members of the outfit and being trolled by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

Kaur, daughter of martyr Captain Mandeep Singh, received support from her college—the Lady Shri Ram College—which termed her act as sensible and brave. “I’m withdrawing from the campaign. Congratulations everyone. I request to be left alone. I said what I had to say... One thing is for sure, next time we will think twice before resorting to violence or threats and that’s all this was about,” she tweeted.

Kaur said she has been through a lot, and “this is all my 20 year self could take”. After withdrawing from the campaign, Kaur will not participate in any activity against ABVP members. She has also decided to not participate in a march being held by a group of students at DU.

In a series of tweets, she said, “The campaign is about students and not about me. Please go to the march in huge numbers. Best of luck... To anyone questioning my courage and bravery... I’ve shown more than enough.”

The Lady Sri Ram College backed Kaur, saying that she has the right to express her opinion. “We support our student as duty of institutions is to nurture students without fear. Gurmehar has right to express her opinion and she responded sensitively, bravely. She has fulfilled her duty as a young citizen,” the college said in a statement.

The 20-year-old girl had started the campaign “I am not afraid of ABVP”, following the violence at Ramjas College. The campaign went viral and received massive support from students of various universities. On Monday, she met Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal and said that she has been receiving “rape threats” on social media, allegedly by ABVP members.

Maliwal, who termed the threats as “shameful”, has also written to police commissioner Amulya Patnaik, demanding that an FIR be registered against the “abusers” and security be provided to the woman and her family. Currently, DCW home guards are providing protection to Kaur.

Also, an FIR was registered on Tuesday against unknown persons in connection with the case. On Monday, police received a letter from DCW demanding immediate registration of an FIR against those who had threatened Kaur.

The FIR was registered under relevant sections of the IT Act and IPC, said a senior police officer. “Yesterday,DCW forwarded a complaint of a DU student reg. online abuse. Immediately, area DCP spoke to her and provided necessary security. Her complnt was examined by Cyber Cell& an FIR No.32/17, u/s 354-A,506 IPC & 67 IT Act,PS EOW has been registerd & invstigation tkn up,” Delhi Police said in a series of tweets.

Further details are awaited. Kaur had last week changed her Facebook profile picture to one in which she was holding a placard reading, “I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me. #StudentsAgainstABVP.”

Ramjas College had last week witnessed large-scale violence between members of the All India Students’ Association and the ABVP. The genesis of the clash was an invite to Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar on “Culture of Protests”, which was withdrawn by the college authorities following opposition by the ABVP.

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