Political slugfest over JNU unites opposition
Rahul tells students not to let ‘bullies push them around’
The arrest of a Jawaharlal Nehru University student l eader on sedition charges snowballed into a political free-for-all on Saturday with Opposition parties likening the situation to the Emergency and the ruling BJP accusing them of speaking the language of Pakistani terrorists.
Cong ress vice- president Rahul Gandhi joined protesters on the JNU campus demanding the release of student union president Kanhaiya Kumar while visiting Left l eader Sitaram Yechury said the central government was looking for excuses to crack down on students opposed to it ideologically.
Concurrent with the police action administered by the home ministry, the Delhi government initiated a magisterial probe into the alleged shouting of anti- national slogans at a campus event. “There are claims that JNU student leaders shouted anti-India slogans and counter claims that ABVP activists did it. To find truth, Del govt is directing DM to conduct an enquiry,” chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit back at Rahul Gandhi for throwing his weight behind the protesters. “Rahul Gandhi and his friends are speaking in the voice LeT terrorist Hafiz Saeed who had tweeted in support of the anti-India event in JNU,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said.
Party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said efforts to give “ideological cover” to violence and anti-India activities could not be allowed. “The way foul language was used against the Prime Minister... a group of students is trying to damage the dignity of an institution like JNU in the name of cultural agitation,” he said.
Students and teachers held a public meeting demanding Kanhaiya’s release. Organising themselves under the banner of ‘ Save JNU’, professors and former union members addressed students.
Before the event started, the university withdrew permission to use a microphone.