Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Don't crush opposition voice in democracy

The police brutality on JNU students, who had gathered outside the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) office in Delhi to demand justice for Rohith Vemula, caught on camera and played on all the TV news channels has shocked the nation. Rohith Vemula was a Dalit scholar of Hyderabad University, who committed suicide because of the alleged caste discrimination there. Delhi police personnel charged lathis on the innocent and unarmed students-boys and girls- mercilessly. It appears as if it were a police raj. All the norms of democracy have flouted openly. Govt. is bent on stifling the voice of student with their police force. Delhi police is under the direct control and command of the BJP-led Narendra Modi-led NDA govt. at the Centre. So, it may be possible that Delhi police would have acted one-sided against the protesting students at the behest of Central govt. But it is a matter of investigation to know what the truth is. It is necessary for the police to know that protesting, opposing and demonstrating are the most important ingredients of democracy. These are the essence of democracy. All have right to protest. To protest, oppose and demonstrate is the essence of democracy. Without the voice of opposition, the democracy is meaningless. It is in no way justifiable for the police to act in such an inhumanly way as they did with the protesting students in national capital. Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to intervene immediately to douse the fire that is smoldering against his government in the form of student agitation. Police personnel are there to ensure that no law and order problem could arise. The main duty of the police is to protect and serve the people. Police personnel deputed outside the RSS office to ensure that students' protest passes off peacefully. Central govt. is required to set up an enquiry commission to go into the details of the circumstances leading to brutal police lathi charge. The protesting students were not creating any law and order problem for the police that they became so enraged to beat them mercilessly. The video of lathi charge shared by students shows how mercilessly they were beaten by the police. No lady police was there; and even the girls students were beaten by the male police without any compunction. It was not only police personnel but there were some others in plain clothe who too beat the students along with police. As the students were protesting outside the RSS office, there may be the people from inside who would be there to beat them. It is duty of the police to investigate who these plain-clothed people were. Undoubtedly, the students were protesting against the alleged highhandedness and involvement of some BJP leaders and ministers in vitiating the atmosphere inside the Hyderabad University that led Rohith Vemula to commit suicide. RSS is also directly or indirectly has link with the ruling BJP at the Centre. BJP student wing ABVP had allegedly played a role in promoting caste bias and discrimination with full support from the University authorities on the campus. Delhi Police has received two summonses by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) and another from the office of Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung. While the women’s panel summoned police commissioner BS Bassi for not submitting data on crimes against women in the Capital, Jung’s office asked the department to explain the manhandling of students protesting the alleged suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula by its personnel.

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