Expressing their dissent over the ongoing row at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, a delegation of Left parties on Saturday met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and asked him to release Kanhaiya Kumar, the university’s students’ union president.
Hours after Singh and Human Resource and Development Minister Smriti Irani denounced the raising of alleged anti-India slogans in the JNU, the Delhi Police had yesterday arrested the Kanhaiya Kumar, on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) politburo member Sitaram Yechury, who led the Left delegation to the Home Minister, said that the actions taken by the police in the university were even worse than what happened during the emergency.
“We informed the Home Minister about the happenings inside the university. We told him that the kind of actions taken by him, dubbing the whole university as anti-national, is even worse than what happened during the emergency,” Yechury said.
He also said that no one who would accept that JNU students are anti-national.
“We also presented our dissent that the RSS is trying to spread its ideology in all the universities of the country. He assured that no action would be taken against any person who is not guilty. Acknowledging his assurance we said that Kanhaiya Kumar, university’s students’ union president, should be immediately released,” he added.
“The 20 people, who are being targeted and against whom the sedition charges are being slapped, are not seen raising slogans in the video. The list of those 20 people includes the name of D. Raja’s daughter also. The Centre is just using this to interfere in higher educational institutions and spread the ideology of the RSS,” he further said.
“It should be proved that they are at fault. It should be proved that these incidents actually happened. The university has no cameras, so where did the tape come from,” he added.
Kumar’s arrest evoked strong reactions from JNU students and teachers, past and present, and Opposition parties even as the RSS’s students wing ABVP ‘thanked’ police for arresting the ‘anti-nationals’. The arrest of Kumar, a member of the CPI’s students wing AISF, was made a day after BJP MP from East Delhi, Maheish Girri, registered a complaint.
The alleged anti-India slogans were reportedly raised during a protest march on the campus on Tuesday against Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging.
The protest was staged even though the JNU administration had revoked permission following a complaint from the ABVP.