New Delhi- Dr. Ritu Singh’s protest has entered a new era; marred by detainment, violence and vandalism. But the dismissed teacher is showing no signs of taking a step back. The whole ordeal that took place in the wee hours of 9th January which resulted in imposition of section 144 at Gate no. 4 of Delhi University’s Arts faculty and the loot of her belongings that were in the protest site has angered her. She has now filed legal complaints against the police and their unruly behaviour.
The Mooknayak talked to Mehmood Pracha, who is the national convener of ‘Mission Save Constitution’ and has been a part the protest since the very beginning. He revealed that they have already filed a complaint against the vandalism and loot of the protest site on the morning of 9th January. Pracha said they had gone to the Maurice Nagar police station to file a complaint in this connection. However, the police did not file an FIR, hence a complaint was filed at the Tees Hazari Court. He further added that a hearing date would soon be finalised. A second complaint will be filed against the random imposition of section 144 at the protest site, which has led to detainment of many demonstrators.
On January 10, Dr. Ritu Singh visited the same protest site to talk to media about her upcoming plans regarding the movement. In a distressed tone, the teacher claimed, “We are not afraid of them. These people are supposed to be our protectors, but they are doing the exact opposite. We have a democratic right to protest so why should I fear the law? Have we done anything unconstitutional? No, we have not! I am a law-abiding citizen. There is nothing above the constitution. I have never been served a notice in regard to my protest then why should I stop?”
Talking about how caste still plays a role in the educational institution, she remarked with anger, “Jaati kabhi nahi jaati (The tag of one’s caste never goes away). For the university administration, students from marginalised communities coming up to study, learn and ask questions is scary. The upper-caste administrative postholders are never okay with us becoming empowered to ask questions. Will we live according to their ideologies?”
During the same interaction, Ashutosh Bouddh, president of Delhi University’s wing of Bhim Army Student Federation added, “We are fighting against a Manuwadi thought process. The way Dr. Ritu and other Ad-Hoc faculties belonging to a marginalised community are being pushed out of the university only proves our fight cannot end right now. Dr. Ritu Singh and advocate Mehmood Pracha have announced the continuation of the protest and today, I and the student federations of the campus announce our support for the same. From tomorrow, we will sit at this very same spot and this movement will not stop because now it has also become a fight for our dignity. Periyar, Phule, Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram have fought similar battles in their lifetime. Now it is our turn to show the authorities who we are. We will not budge till the torture on women, Dalit and Adivasis stop taking place.”
The student president alleged, “Male police touched and man-handled Ritu Singh while she was being detained on 9th January. These police are villains in decked-up Khaki uniforms. This is not how women protestors are supposed to be handled.” The Delhi Police is under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Taking a dig at the home minister, Bouddh expressed his disappointment by saying, “Amit Shah, become a better person! You are a public servant and are supposed to serve our interests. The day is not far when we will be at positions of power, and you will be afraid of us.”