New Delhi: A day after two groups clashed in Delhi University over a street play on the JNU issue, ABVP’s national media convener Saket Bahuguna on Saturday said those who objected to the play were not their members.

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been in the news after eight students of the varsity were charged under the sedition law for organising an event on February 9 against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and for raising anti-national slogans during the event.

A play — namely JNU Ka Sach — was organised by independent theatre group called Sangwari Theatre group.

According to the organisers, 20-30 Akhil BharatiYa Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members disrupted the play soon after the artists began chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. The alleged ABVP members later tried to attack the artists.

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Bahuguna said the artists were wearing Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) outfit and raising slogans and “some of the slogans were really offensive”.

ABVP is the student wing of RSS, the ideological mentor of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre.

“They (who protested against the play) were nationalist sympathisers and not ABVP office bearers or even members. Mostly research scholars from Sanskrit, Hindi and other departments of Arts Faculty had gone there to protest,” Bahuguna told IANS.

“Everyone who chants Bharat Mata ki Jai is not ABVP member,” he added.

The play has already staged two shows before at JNU campus and at Chitranjan Park in Delhi.

The 20-25 minutes long play is loosely based on the JNU issue on how the students were targeted under sedition charges and the media trial of the accused.

Speaking to IANS, Kapil, national convener of Sangwari theatre group, said: ”We went to Faculty of Arts (Delhi University’s north campus) after we were denied permission to conduct the play at Law Faculty.

“We had just begun the play at 2 p.m. when suddenly a group of 20-30 ABVP members started chanting slogans “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. One of them was holding a cricket bat.”

“The audience initially thought it was all a part of the play so we also worked along with it. But soon one of them rushed towards a performer with the cricket bat. I realised that he was going to hit the performer so I immediately rushed towards the ABVP member and withheld his hand,” he said.

Rahul Raj Mishra, vice president of All India Students Association (Delhi Unit), alleged that the artists were manhandled by the “ABVP goons” and even women artists were pushed around. 

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