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Sedition Slap on JNU Union Leader

Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya, DU prof held for organising pro-Afzal Guru events at two places

Published: 13th February 2016 05:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2016 06:26 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI:  In a strong action, the Delhi Police on Friday arrested Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges for organising and participating in an event on the campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and making a ‘demand for Azad Kashmir’.

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The police also detained a Delhi University professor, Ali Javed, for organising a similar event at the Press Club in Delhi, where the university’s Zakir Hussain College lecturer SAR Geelani, who was acquitted 13 years ago in the Parliament terror strike case, shouted slogans hailing Guru.

Sedition.jpgA senior police officer said both incidents were linked and Javed, earlier a JNU student, was also an activist associated with an ultra-left outfit. While the interrogation of Ali Javed was still on and he was likely to be arrested at the Press Club, police are searching for five other students of JNU — Omar Khalid, Anant Prakash, Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Anirban Bhattacharya — who organised the event. The Press Club of India later in the night expelled Javed.

Sediti.JPGThe Democratic Students Union, an ultra-left body, organised the event on the JNU campus after obtaining permission from the authorities on the pretext of conducting a cultural programme, police said. Apart from the Centre, the JNU vice chancellor and the varsity teachers association too condemned the act of raising anti-India slogans on the campus. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh warned, “If anyone raises anti-India slogans and tries to raise questions on the nation’s unity and integrity, they will not be spared.”

Sedition Slap on.JPGSimilarly, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said the nation cannot tolerate “any insult to Mother India”. “Let Mother India be praised. The nation will never tolerate an insult to Mother India,” she said. JNU vice chancellor Jagadesh Kumar said the incident was a result of “fringe elements” misusing their freedom.

“The university strongly condemns the use of the university as a platform for activities that violate the Constitution and the laws of the land,” said a statement from Kumar. He further stated that the university had taken serious note of the incidents on the campus on the evening of February 9 and a high-level enquiry committee had been constituted to investigate the matter. He appealed to the students to go beyond the incident and help the campus return to “normalcy”.

Meanwhile, the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar sparked massive outrage, with the JNU students union alleging that students were being subjected to a ‘witch-hunt’. JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid Shora said students were being demonised unnecessarily. “What is the proof that Kanhaiya was there among those raising anti-India slogans? Has he been spotted in any picture or video? Why are all JNU students being given ‘anti-national’ certificates,” Shora asked. 

Probe Panel Debars Eight Students

Considering the seriousness of the incident and to enable a fair enquiry, a high-level committee constituted by the JNU vice chancellor has debarred eight students from academic activities with immediate effect during the pendency of the enquiry. “However, to permit them to represent their stand for a fair investigation, they will be allowed to stay in their respective hostels as a guest during the period of the enquiry,” the vice chancellor said in a statement.

Considering the seriousness of the incident and to enable a fair enquiry, a high-level committee constituted by the JNU vice chancellor has debarred eight students from academic activities with immediate effect during the pendency of the enquiry. “However, to permit them to represent their stand for a fair investigation, they will be allowed to stay in their respective hostels as a guest during the period of the enquiry,” the vice chancellor said in a statement.

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