Protest Against Afzal Guru’s Execution

On 9 February at 8 am, news of the stealthy and shameful execution of Afzal Guru came in. The PUDR called for a silent protest demonstration at Jantar Mantar. CPI(ML) Central Committee member Kavita Krishnan, Comrade Girija Pathak of CPI(ML) central headquarters, and AISA and RYA activists joined the demonstration. A small band of Bajrang Dal goons were at Jantar Mantar ‘celebrating’ the execution. When some Kashmiri young men and women raised placards of mourning and outrage, they were attacked by the Bajrang Dal men, who collected some other men from around Jantar Mantar by whipping up hatred against ‘anti-nationals.’ The police stood as mute spectators as the mob grew in aggression, and allowed the saffron goons to inflict violence on the peaceful protesters, including young Kashmiri women and men. A civil liberties activist’s face was blackened. The police, instead of arresting the saffron mobsters, arrested several of the peaceful demonstrators, especially the Kashmiri youth, and took them to Mandir Marg police station. However they were released later on the intervention of human rights lawyers.

In Dehradun, too, Kashmiri students protesting against the recent killings in Kashmir, the blockade and the hanging of Afzal Guru, were beaten up on 12 February by Bajrang Dal goons and arrested. Kashmiri youth, who had not even participated in the protest, were also beaten up in the market place by the Bajrang Dal mob, which demanded that the police book the Kashmiri youth for sedition or else ‘hand them over’ to the lynch mob. Democratic intelligentsia, activists, and journalists intervened and eventually the 16 Kashmiri youth were released late at night on bonds.

On 16 February, at Gandhi Park, Dehradun, there was a joint Left protest against the incident, demanding:

1. Immediately drop all the charges against the protesters.

2. Arrest all the Bajrang Dal/BJP goons as people have enough proof (visual and otherwise) to identify them.

3. Suspend all the police officers who participated in this brutal attack and shielded the right wing goons.

Protesters included Indresh Maikhuri and Malti Haldar, State Committee members of CPI(ML), the CPI(M)’s Uttarakhand State Secretary, CPI’s State Secretary, and leaders of CPI(ML) New Democracy, as well as Gautam Navlakha and several others.


Liberation Archive