NEW DELHI: The recent protest march at JNU against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and raising of anti-India slogans on Friday drew sharp condemnation from two Union ministers, with Smriti Irani asserting that such activities can never be “tolerated”.
The denouncement of the activities, both by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Irani preceded the arrest of students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar by Delhi Police during the day on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy.
Controversy had erupted earlier this week when some students had pasted posters across the campus inviting people to a protest march against what they claimed was “judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt” and in solidarity with “struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self-determination” at the varsity’s Sabarmati dhaba.
“She (Goddess Saraswati) blesses every family that whatever they speak is for progress and strengthening the nation... Nation will never tolerate insult to mother India,” Irani told reporters when asked to comment on the incident. “I felt satisfied that there are teachers who teach children to pray for the nation and not anti-India slogans,” she said. Speaking at an event, she added that she experienced a sense of satisfaction when students sang ‘Vande Mataram’ and offered “prayers to the mother”.
Singh warned, “If anyone raises anti-India slogans, tries to raise questions on country’s unity and integrity, they will not be spared. Stringent action will be taken against them.”
JNU has ordered a “disciplinary” inquiry headed by chief proctor Krishan Kumar into the incident, stating students were denied permission to hold such events. Meanwhile Delhi Police missives accessed by Express showed they had kept the V-C in the loop ahead of arrests. Police said they had acted after taking suo motu cognisance of ‘anti-national activity’.