On Wednesday, a group of students got into an argument with BJP Yuva Morcha members, who told the students to 'Go to Pakistan' and that 'they weren't Indians'.

Day after altercation on pro-CAA banner Bengaluru Jyoti Nivas students hold silent protest
news Controversy Thursday, January 09, 2020 - 17:13

Students of Jyoti Nivas College (JNC) in Bengaluru’s Koramangala held a silent protest in front of the college on Thursday afternoon. The silent protest was to mark their opposition to BJP Yuva Morcha members heckling and name calling a bunch of students on Wednesday who had opposed a pro-CAA banner that was put up on the college wall.

The protesting students held placards and the national flag as they stood along the pavement outside their college and then went inside the college to continue with their protest.

Read: BJP workers heckle Bengaluru students for opposing pro-CAA banner, students fight back

Some of the placards read, “Show us your degree, we will show our documents”, “No CAB (CAA), No NRC”. While some said, “Don’t force your opinion on us” and “Stop turning colleges into war zones, revoke CAA”. Few other students from other colleges also joined them in the silent protest. 

Speaking to TNM, Megha*, a second year B.Com student said she was angry with BJP members for targeting their college. “Why did they have to come to our college which is a girl’s college? There are many other colleges which are co-ed or even boys. Targeting us, thinking we are weak is not right? And they (BJP workers) used certain words which should not be used. They told Muslims to ‘go to Pakistan’.“

She added, “How come they come and ask us to sign a petition in something we don’t believe in. This is not right. And they wanted us to say that we as JNC students support the CAA. How is that acceptable?”

As reported earlier, an altercation had broken out between the students after they had objected to a pro-CAA banner stuck to their college wall by BJP Yuva Morcha members. In videos that had since then got viral, BJP workers can be seen calling the students “uneducated” and telling them, "You are not concerned about citizenship, you are concerned about yourself… you are not Indians."

Manasa*, a second-year BA student, whom TNM spoke to said, “Our college took an apolitical stance and advised us not to protest. But we said we are outside college and not wearing our ID cards, so we will protest. But the administration was always like something could happen to us, let’s not make anything big out of it.”

Read: BJP workers heckle Bengaluru students for opposing pro-CAA banner, students fight back

Many other JNC students TNM spoke to wished to remain anonymous primarily fearing backlash from the college administration. They said they had sought permission to protest from South East DCP Isha Pant despite reservations from the college authorities and the same was granted. Koramangala Inspector Sashidhdhar who was present at the spot confirmed the same.

The students stood in protests within the college premises for a while before they dispersed through the post-graduate entrance gate instead of the main gate. According to students, the college administration feared for their safety in case all of them got through the main gate.Meanwhile, when the majority of the protesting students were inside the college or had dispersed already, a group of less than 10 men wanted to make their way inside the college. A group of policemen present on the spot forced them back as they shouted slogans against the BJP.

In a meeting that was held earlier in the day between the students, teachers and administration, a decision was taken not to carry out a protest outside the college premises primarily fearing safety issues of the students.An official comment from the college administration is awaited. 

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