Bengaluru: The first signs of violence following the JNU incident are beginning to appear here in Bengaluru. A group of students at the Indian Institute of Science formed Concern to provide a democratic space on campus. On Monday, during a signature campaign that will be part of a letter to the President of India, the campaigners were attacked by a group of hooligans, who hurled abuse, called them anti-national, destroyed their furniture and tore the sheet with signatures into pieces. Security men were called in to take control of the situation.
A few hundred signatures had been collected already and would be part of a letter addressed to the President of India. Around 1.40 pm, the group of hooligans shouting abuse attacked the campaigners, who were holding a peaceful protest against the JNU incident.
The furniture in the room was upturned and the sheet of signatures torn up, as the angry protestors accused the students of being “anti-national” and “turning IISc into a terrorist house”. Although the campus security handled the situation and restored peace in about ten minutes, sources have chosen to remain anonymous as the situation is still “volatile”.
“We started our campaign on Sunday and everything was peaceful,” said a source. The group included members from CONCERN, an on-campus gathering comprising liberal and Left-leaning students as well as others who participated in their individual capacity. “Things seemed to be going well on Monday, too, till these goons showed up. We're not sure who they are, but we heard that they are part of the Institute too,” he said.
The posters made by the campaigners were apparently the trigger point for the Right-wing students who attacked them. The posters contained slogans like "Kill Sedition law', 'Condemn sectarian slogans', and 'stand with JNU'.
“They tore down the posters and vandalised the furniture,” he said. “Our signature campaign was completely voluntary – passersby were asked to read it and sign if they wished to. These people could have told us they disagreed with us, instead of resorting to vandalism,” he said.
The students handed a written complaint to the campus security, which has promised to take the matter to the dean. The students said that they were determined to carry on with their signature campaign....