Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today claimed that the JNU university event in Delhi in memory of Parliamentattack convict Afzal Guru had received “support” from terror outfit LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, a statement that sparked a political row with opposition parties asking him to provide evidence.
As Singh said the truth that the JNU agitation received support from Saeed, who is chief of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e- Taiba, needed to be understood by the nation,National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said it is a “very serious charge” to level against the students and that the evidence must be shared with all.
“The incident(Afzal event) at JNU has received support from Hafiz Saeed. This is a truth that the nation needs to understand,” Singh told reporters in Allahabad, adding, “What has happened is very unfortunate.”
CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Home Minister has to come out and share the evidence he has with the country to back up his “serious allegation”. CPIleader D Raja also demanded that the evidence be made public.
Rajnath’s comments came two days after a series of tweets, purportedly by Saeed, had appeared under a hashtag asking Pakistanis to support the agitation in JNU.
Police are investigating as to whether the twitter handle actually belonged to the LeT founder.
Later, Delhi Police had issued an alert through the official twitter handle of the Commissioner’s office saying, “This is to alert and sensitise the student community in JNU and across the country. Do not get carried away by such seditious anti-national rhetoric. Abetment of any kind of anti-national activity is a punishable offence.”
In the alert, Delhi Police had also pinned a tweet by the handle named HafeezSaeedJUD which says, “We request our Pakistani brothers to trend #SupportJNU for our pro-Pakistani JNUite brothers.”
In a series of tweets, Omar, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said the Home Minister must go public with the evidence collected that enabled him to level the charge against the JNU students.
“That #HafizSaeed supported the #JNU protests is a very serious charge to level against the students. The evidence must be shared with all,” he said. “Cracking down on students & using #HafizSaeed to justify the crack down is a new low, even for this NDA government.”
Yechury said Rajnath has made a very serious allegation about terrorists ‘backing’ JNU protests, adding. “We hope that he has concrete proof.”
“Considering the gravity of the charge made by no less than the Union Home Minister, we would like him to share the evidence with the country,” he added. “When we met the Home Minister yesterday, he never mentioned Hafiz Saeed to us but only harped on the slogans being raised at the protests.
Later in the day, Singh tweeted, “I appeal to all organisations and the political parties to stand united on issues pertaining to unity, sovereignty &integrity of the country. Those involved in anti-India activities or propaganda will not be spared and those who are innocent will not be harassed.”
“I seek cooperation and support from all political parties &people from all walks of life to join hands in fight against anti-national forces,” he said in a series of tweets.
Singh while talking to newspersons also asked political parties not to view protests at JNU through the prism of political gains or losses.