Drawing Graffiti Against EC and 'Boycott Elections' Slogans Result in Police Action Against DU Students

Students leaders of Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch have been taken in police custody drawing graffiti on the walls of DU's North Campus.
Graffiti on DU Walls
Graffiti on DU Walls bsCEM

New Delhi: Drawing graffiti on the walls of the Delhi University, raising doubts on the conduct of the Election Commission, which is supposed to hold a free and fair election, has caused troubles for students and activists associated with the Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch (bsCEM).

They had painted the walls of the varsity's north campus on May 23 with a number of slogans and also asked people to boycott the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

After the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), filed a complaint against the group, a posse of policemen allegedly arrived on the campus to detain the students and activists.

The bsCEM president, Baadal, alleged that ABVP was trying to threaten them for drawing the graffiti.

“They (the cops) have taken us to Maurice Nagar Police Station. I have been told they will put me in isolation and take away my phone,” he told The Mooknayak from the police custody.

Another member of the group, Avanti, said the police have been interrogating Baadal and two other student leaders since the morning.

She said no FIR has been lodged against them so far.

What are the Concerns?

A survey by CSDS-Lokniti revealed that “58% of respondents expressed some or great distrust in the Election Commission in 2024 compared to 78% who trusted the poll body following the 2019 Lok Sabha election". Nearly 45% believed that “electronic voting machines could potentially be manipulated by the ruling party to some extent".

The Mooknayak had previously reported that activists and citizens are raising concerns about alleged bias, manipulation and inaction by the Election Commission.

On May 11 and 12, a joint complaint was filed at the offices of the chief electoral officers in cities like Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and others. Simultaneously, a formal letter was submitted to the chief election commissioner in Delhi.

Numerous incidents have sparked concerns, including alleged violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), the freezing of Opposition party's bank accounts, media bias, exploitation of religious sentiments for political gains, inconsistencies in voter turnout and a significant decline in trust in the poll watchdog.

According to the activists and concerned citizens, the Election Commission has failed to take action and conduct investigations into the complaints that Opposition candidates are being pressured to withdraw their candidacies.

Additionally, discrepancies between votes polled and votes counted in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the 2019 elections remain inadequately explained.

To restore public trust in the electoral process, various social organizations and intellectuals have voiced their concerns in an open letter, urging the Election Commission to promptly address these issues and ensure fairness of the elections in remaining phases.

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