DU, Jamia students detained on their way to invite Modi to flag-off peace rally

New Delhi, 11 June-2014, Manash Pratim Gohain(TNN) : The India-Pak peace rally initiated by Delhi University students for peace had been stopped right at its start in North Campus at 6.30am on Wednesday, and its convener Praveen Kumar Singh and others were detained at Maurice Nagar police station. The students were supposed to cycle their way to the residence of the Prime Minister to invite him to flag-off the rally on August 1, 2014.

DU, Jamia students detained on their way to invite Modi to flag-off peace rally

DU, Jamia students detained on their way to invite Modi to flag-off peace rally

Thirty students from Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia gathered at the North Campus and started their bicycle rally from Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station. The rally was supposed to travel to the Prime Minister’s residence at the Race Course Road to request Narendra Modi to flag-off the rally on August 1, 2014, which was to travel to Wagah Border where they were supposed to celebrate the independence days of India and Pakistan. Students from Pakistan were scheduled to meet these Indian students at Wagah Border. There after this joint group was supposed to bicycle its way to Qaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad.

Singh said: “We had intimated the PM’s office that we will come to request him to flag-off the rally as well as to wish him on taking over as the Prime Minister of India. But we were stopped at the Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station by the police and detained. They said we can’t proceed further. But we informed the Police a week earlier and sought its permission as well. We also told the police that this is a peace rally. The police has not specified as to why we were not allowed to proceed any further nor the reason for detention.”

As per plans, the Indian students will be joined by their Pakistani counterparts from Lahore University and Qaid-i-Azam University at Wagah on August 14. After celebrating India’s Independence Day on August 15, the group, comprising both Pakistani and Indian students, will cycle to Lahore University. “If there is security clearance, we will then proceed to Qaid-i-Azam University on our bicycles,” Praveen said.

In the letter to the PM, which the students claimed they had already sent to the PMO and were also supposed to present to the PM today in person, they wrote, “We request you to take out only a few minutes to read this letter. Firstly, our heart-felt congratulations for your grand victory and we are extremely thankful to you, for inviting Prime Ministers of our neighbouring countries for the oath ceremony. Through this, the government of India has taken a wide step in promoting the integrity of the nation. We, the students of University of Delhi, are planning for a cycle trip from Delhi University to Qaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad on August 1, 2014. We intend to promote friendly relations with India and Pakistan.

“The idea of cycle march to campaign for peace in neighbourhood began in the minds of a few friends at Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University. One thing struck us — in the absence of mutual trust and friendly relations, India and Pakistan spend huge amounts for defence purpose which could otherwise be used in the fight against poverty and hunger. We could not after all substitute weapons for food, medicine, or education. Why is it not possible to imagine the countries of our subcontinent being united as a Confederation on the lines of the EU? In our subcontinent the neighbouring countries share many cultural similarities in spite of its man-made borders. The notion of a Confederation is not an impossible target to achieve if we all strive.

We request you to flag-off our journey of peace on August 1, 2014, at University of Delhi, North Campus. In this way, you will be fulfilling your responsibility to future generations who will otherwise be condemned to the lives of unimaginable misery and poverty due to hostile relations between the nations. Your name will also be recorded by history as a leader who acted with vision, wisely considering the needs of the future both globally and locally. Our student delegation (a group of 30 students) would be reaching Prime Minister House, Race Course Road on June 11, 2014 at 7am.”