Delhi violence: Students spearhead peace initiative

ROHAN AGARWAL   |  New Delhi


With the country still shaken by large-scale violence that engulfed northeast Delhi in the last week of February, the youths studying in different institutions of higher education spearheaded the efforts at restoration of peace and communal harmony.

While the opposition and the government were busy in political recriminations both inside and outside Parliament, Delhi students were setting an example for others to follow to ensure peace among all communities.

Just after the violence that has claimed the lives of 53 persons so far, Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) came forward to offer shelter on the campus for riot survivors.

However, after a notice from JNU administration that students had no right to make such offers, JNUSU then decided to help the riot-affected by supplying essential items collected through donations.

The Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) too held a day-long fast in the national capital and urged Delhiites to stand united and work for peace.

DUSU office-bearers, including President Akshit Dahiya, Vice-President Pradeep Tanwar and Joint Secretary Shivangi Kharwal, participated in the fast outside the Arts Faculty on the campus.

"We along with other students want an atmosphere of peace, amity and brotherhood in Delhi. Efforts are required to bridge the communal divide that has manifested in violence in parts of Delhi," a DUSU statement said.

"In this hour of crisis, we all need to come together and undertake every possible measure to foster the spirit of peace, harmony and fraternity in society," the students union added.

The student wing of Congress, the National Student Union of India (NSUI), also came out on the streets to help restore peace.

NSUI activists and supporters on Thursday took out a peace march from its headquarters on the Raisina Road here to the India Gate.

"The main aim to organise the 'Chatra Aman Sandesh Yatra' (Students' peace message march) is to stand against the venom of hatred spread by the Bharatiya Janata Party and its Ministers that resulted in the violence in Delhi," an NSUI statement released after the march read.

The protesters also targeted the Delhi Police which, they pointed out, functions on the orders of the Home Ministry headed by Amit Shah.

"No reaction came from the Home Minister when Delhi was burning and people were dying. The NSUI appeals to the residents of Delhi to maintain peace and not let politics ruin their lives and homes," the statement added.

Over 200 persons were injured and property worth crores of rupees damaged in the violence that began after a clash between pro and anti-CAA groups on February 23 took a communal turn. IANS