NEW DELHI: As a video of Delhi policemen assaulting students protesting over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, near the RSS head office in the national capital went viral, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal mounted an attack on the Centre, calling Delhi Police a ‘private army’ of BJP.
On the other hand, the RSS rejected allegations that some of its workers were involved in thrashing the protesters along with police outside its headquarters.
“No RSS worker was there at that time. If somebody feels that there was some highhandedness, then there is option of inquiry, law. Police must have done whatever they found was appropriate,” Rajiv Tuli, RSS’s Delhi spokesperson, said.
Commissioner of Delhi Police BS Bassi, who did not deny the authenticity of the video, instituted an inquiry into the matter under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner of Police Parmaditya. The video had been shot by one of the protesting students and was then shared by Aam Admi Party through it official Twitter handle.
“We will investigate the issue and take action after the inquiry,” Bassi said.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Kejriwal said Delhi Police is “being used by the BJP/RSS as their (private) army to terrorise and teach (a) lesson to anyone opposing the BJP/RSS”.
“I strongly condemn (the) attack on students on January 30,” he said. Referring to earlier student protests at the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and Hyderabad University, Kejriwal said: “FTII, Rohith case, Hyderabad University, IITs and now brutal attack on Delhi students. Modi government seems to be at war with students all across.” The police action took place on January 30 even as students from All India Students’ Association were protesting over the death of Rohith Vemula, outside the RSS office. The Congress too condemned the beating up of the protesting students. “The Congress would like to put on record that this government has become completely apathetic to the voice of students, in addition to being anti-Dalit and anti-poor. They have time and again indulged in crushing dissent,” Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said.
He further said, “The protestors were stopped at the barricade by a police team and asked to continue their protest peacefully, but they broke the barricade. They also manhandled the police team when they were stopped.”
Taking suo-moto cognizance of the video, the Delhi Commission for Women on Monday issued a notice to Delhi Police and demanded a report on the incident. In the notice, DCW Chief Swati Maliwal said, “It is observed in the video that no female police personnel are present at the time of the incident and the male police personnel are beating protestors.”
“The video is extremely disturbing and you are hereby served this notice to show cause on the same along with the detailed status report on the incident and names and designation of the officers who approved the police action against the protestors,” Maliwal said.