News portal The Quint recently published a report on an incident that took place in Delhi University on the eve of International Women’s Day. ‘Activist’ Nodeep Kaur, who was recently released from jail on bail, was one of the speakers at the event organized by Bhagat Singh Chatra Ekta Manch. The report was based on a video interview with Nodeep where she talked about the alleged incident, and am an audio interview with Shivangi Kharwal, Joint Secretary, Delhi University Student Union.
However, now it has been alleged that the Quint added a heavily edited audio clip of the conversation they had with ABVP leader Shivangi Kharwal. In the interview, Nodeep Kaur alleged that ABVP workers had harassed her for talking on Dalit Rapes. She alleged that Kharwal and other ABVP members attacked the attendees of the event in the presence of police.
The Quint, in its report, projected ABVP as the bullies. In the video, Nodeep said the event was organized in solidarity with the victims of Butana and Gurhmandi alleged rape cases. She alleged that ABVP activists interrupted the event and assaulted them in the presence of the police. Nodeep claimed that as ABVP is BJP’s student wing, police did not take any action against them but some of the students present at the event were detained by the police.
The ‘andhbhakt’ jibe
Towards the end of the video, Nodeep referred to people associated with BJP and right-wing as ‘andhbhakt’ and said that whenever Left organizes any event, ‘andhbhakts’ try to interrupt it without understanding anything about the event or the organizers. She further claimed that rich and upper caste communities are behind such attacks. “We are not afraid of andhbhakts,” she said.
In the audio interview with Quint, Shivangi Kharwal said that the people who had attended the event had raised anti-India slogans. She said that they were chanting slogans saying ‘Indian Army rapist’, and had also put up posters saying the same. She also told Quint that she was sexually assaulted by the protestors, she was pushed and her dress was torn. However, Quint published Shivangi’s interview in bits and pieces, therefore it was difficult the get the context of what she was saying.
OpIndia’s conversation with Shivangi Kharwal
To understand the whole incident, OpIndia contacted Shivangi Kharwal and learned her side of the story. Kharwal made some shocking revelations about the ‘event’ and the conversation she had with The Quint. She said that her conversation was heavily edited and added to the video to put ABVP in the bad light. However, the reality was different.
There was no permission for the event – said Shivangi
Shivangi said that when she learned about the event and reached there, it appeared that the students that were present at the Gate Number 4 of the Art Faculty for the event were not from Delhi University. She asked them to show their identity cards of DU, but they refused to do so.
After noticing the posters against the Indian Army and listening to the speech of one of the speakers where she said, “If police or Indian Army rapes you and you approach a court for justice, no one will help as everyone in the judiciary is sold out,” Shivangi immediately called the Proctor to ask if there was any permission for such event. Proctor clearly said that he did not give any permission for such an event at the university.
On #InternationalWomensDay calling our men in uniform as rapist is nothing but an insult to the Mother who had lost her son , a wife who had lost her husband and a daughter who had lost her father on line of duty protecting this motherland & all of us. Will you support this? 🙏 pic.twitter.com/UjydG7Mcem— Shivangi Kharwal (@ShivangiSpeaks) March 9, 2021
As there was no permission for the event, Shivangi approached the police officers present at the scene and requested them to tell the organizers to remove the poster and not to raise slogans against the Indian Army. She herself approached them to politely urge them to remove the poster and not to raise the slogans against Army.
‘There was sexual assault on me’ – said Shivangi
The students and organizers did not listen to her. After which, Shivangi stepped forward and removed the poster herself. She alleged that as soon as she removed the poster, around 30-40 goons surrounded her. Shivangi said that she had to face sexual assault as the group allegedly remove her dupatta and torn off her Kurti from the front side. She further said that boys in the group pushed her.
After the incident, Shivangi filed a police complaint against them. In her complaint, she explained the series of events and mentioned how males present at the event assaulted her. She said, “I was molested, grabbed, pushed, and my clothes were torn.” Shivangi said though she was not aware of the identity of the culprits, but she can identify them if she sees them again.
Filed an official complaint with @DelhiPolice regarding anti national programme held in the premises of delhi university defaming our nation & calling indian army rapists ,complaint also includes assault and manhandling of me by unidentified people in programme. pic.twitter.com/L09hQqGJzF— Shivangi Kharwal (@ShivangiSpeaks) March 8, 2021
In her complaint, Shivangi said that there must be an investigation on the police officers who were present during the event but did not take any action when slogans against the Army and police were raised.
Casteist and Hinduphobic posts against Shivangi and ABVP
The twisting of the facts and misinformation was not limited to the incident. The posts shared by the left ecosystem on several social media platform targeted Shivangi for being an Upper Caste Hindu. An Instagram handle, coolspiritualguy, wrote, “Shivangi is upper-caste Hindu and is literally flashing her privilege as she attempts to hand over vulnerable individuals to the police where they will be tortured and sexually abused.” It has to be noted that the said handle also made false claims that Indian police sexually assault the detainees.
Ok ! So the eco system now know my CASTE , one more hour and they will tell you my GOTRA and my VARNA.— Shivangi Kharwal (@ShivangiSpeaks) March 9, 2021
PS:- “They will not let any stone unturned in the process of maligning our hindu roots and dividing us on the basis of caste. That’s how they survive. Parasites.” pic.twitter.com/BvqKHTEmoh
Some ‘bluetick’ handles linked Shivangi’s social media handles in their posts and provoked their followers to attack her on social media. One such account was of one Monica Gill, who is a model by profession and has been posting a lot of provocative posts against India and in favour of ongoing farmer protests.
After her post, Shivangi’s social media posts and DMs were filled with hate comments. Interestingly, Monica was okay with sending an army of trolls and abusers towards another woman on International Women’s Day just because she tried to raise her voice against anti-India forces.
Shivangi also posted some screenshots of comments she was getting on her social media accounts. She said, “How sweetly this Gill girl instigated people to fill my DMs & Comments with slurs & abuses & that too on #InternationalWomensDay .Too much for womanhood and rights from these pseudo people. If they are hounding me on SM this way just imagine what they did to me in real yesterday.”
How sweetly this Gill girl instigated people to fill my DMs & Comments with slurs & abuses & that too on #InternationalWomensDay .Too much for womanhood and rights from these pseudo people. If they are hounding me on SM this way just imagine what they did to me in real yesterday pic.twitter.com/dbAAmZFGqA— Shivangi Kharwal (@ShivangiSpeaks) March 9, 2021
Quint’s journalist believes calling Indian Army rapist is not anti-national
OpIndia accessed the original recording of the conversation that took place between Shivangi and The Quint’s journalist Asmita Nandy. During the conversation, Nandy asked Shivangi what was anti-national in the slogans raised at the event. When Shivangi repeatedly emphasized the fact that they called Indian Army rapist and that is anti-national, Nandy said in a shocking tone, “to woh anti-national ho gaya? Okay…”
While the conversation between the two ran for over five minutes, The Quint chose to add only a few seconds of it to support their narrative. The Quint’s video was edited by one Md Irshad Alam.