Gurmehar pulls out of anti-ABVP march

DCW asks Facebook to deactivate accounts threatening her
Report by: 
Agencies
NEW DELHI
28 Feb 2017

DU student Gurmehar Kaur today pulled out of a protest march against ABVP, requesting to be "left alone", and left for to Jalandhar to be with her family.

Kaur's decision comes amidst a raging controversy over her social media campaign against RSS-backed ABVP, which attracted alleged threats of rape and a virulent backlash, with even Union ministers joining the fray. In a series of tweets, Kaur, a Lady Shri Ram College student, announced her decision saying she has been through a lot and "this is all my 20 year self could take (sic)". The martyr's daughter earlier urged people not to identify her as a "martyr's daughter" if that "bothers" them. She is the daughter of Capt Mandeep Singh who was killed in a militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir in 1999.

"She has left for Jalandhar to be with her family," a Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) official said. The Delhi Police has requested their Jalandhar counterpart to provide adequate security to her. As the march, from which she withdrew, made its way through the North Campus with hundreds of students of JNU, DU and Jamia, she tweeted: "All my friends. Our lovely faculty! how I wish I was there." In an earlier tweet, she had urged people to join the march, which is "about students and not about me", in large numbers. "I'm withdrawing from the campaign. Congratulations everyone. I request to be left alone. I said what I had to say. I have been through a lot and this is all my 20 year self could take. To anyone questioning my courage and bravery...I've shown more than enough," she said.

The Lady Sri Ram College backed Kaur saying she has the right to express her opinion. "We support our student as duty of institutions is to nurture students without fear. Gurmehar has right to express her opinion and she responded sensitively, bravely. She has fulfilled her duty as a young citizen," the college said in a statement. The 20-year-old student had started the campaign 'I am not afraid of ABVP', following the February-22 violence at Ramjas College. The campaign went viral and received a massive support from students of various universities. Kaur had on Monday met DCW chief Swati Maliwal and complained that she has been receiving "rape threats" on social media, allegedly by ABVP members.

Maliwal, who termed the threats as "shameful", has written to Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik demanding an FIR be registered against the "abusers" and security be provided to her and her family. Meanwhile, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) today asked Facebook to deactivate the accounts which were used to allegedly issue "rape threats" to DU student Gurmehar Kaur. The DCW wrote to Delhi Police demanding security for her and her family and lodging of an FIR. The Delhi Police today registered an FIR against unknown persons in connection with the case.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal in the letter said that Kaur has been subjected to "extreme abuse and rape threats" on her Facebook profile. "We are in the receipt of a complaint from her which is self-explanatory and contains relevant screenshots of rape threats and abuse as evidence. The same is being forwarded to you for your perusal and necessary action," she wrote.