NEW DELHI: Following the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union President over a protest against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the varsity has released a statement accusing the police of going on a ‘witch-hunt’ to round up students of false charges.
“JNUSU President, Comrade Kanhaiyya has been arrested. Police are doing rounds of the campus and mindlessly witch-hunting activists. RSS is running campaigns to shut down JNU. Media has successfully demonized and witch-hunted us, despite the fact that no JNU student ever raised any unprincipled slogan. In fact, we stopped these slogans that called for India's division and destruction. You know why? Because we don't believe in politics of division and destruction. We believe in uniting people,” the statement by the JNUSU Vice President Shahla Rashid said.
She asserted in her statement that in return for uniting people across the country, they were being rewarded with certificates of "anti-national activity" from ‘people who are not a least bit 'pained by these slogans, but are enjoying these slogans and mobilising people on it’.
“Why weren't they mobilising when we fought together for fellowships? Why weren't they campaigning when a fellow student was forced to commit suicide? Where were they, when there masses of this country were fighting for freedom from imperialism? They were seeking apologies from and alliances with their British masters. They observe 26 January as Black Day because they do not believe in the Constitution of this country. They want Manusmriti as the Constitution of this country,” the statement read.
Rashid goes on to accuse the police of targeting and witch-hunting them they way PhD scholar Rohith Vemula was.
“They want us to hang ourselves like Rohith did. But we want to remind them, every dead Rohith will further intensify the students' movement and people's unity,” she said.
Earlier today, Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that strict action will be taken against the demonstrators and said that 'anti-national' elements will not be tolerated.
"When someone is in the country and raises anti-national statements, raising questions on India's unity, diversity and sovereignty then they won't be forgiven. What happened in JNU was unfortunate and for that, I have already given the necessary instructions to the Delhi Police Commissioner," Rajnath told ANI.
Promising firm action against the demonstrators, he reiterated that anti-national statements cannot be forgiven.
"You can't raise anti-national statements while you stay in India," he added.
The Delhi Police had also registered a case of sedition against the JNU students who had agitated against the hanging of Guru following complaints by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Maheish Girri and RSS's student front Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad.
Marking the death anniversary of Guru, a group of students on Tuesday held an event on the campus and shouted slogans against government for hanging him, despite varsity administration having cancelled the permission following a complaint by ABVP members, who termed the activity as "anti-national".