NEW DELHI: Scores of JNU students today formed a human chain and raised slogans, demanding that sedition charges against varsity's students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar be dropped.
Kumar was arrested earlier this week in a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy filed over holding of an event at the varsity against Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's hanging during which anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.
The students were also joined by families of staff members residing on the campus.
"Neither Kanhaiya was the organiser nor he was associated with the event. He went their just to intervene when the argument between ABVP members and organsiers started heating up. He has been framed," a teacher alleged.
A student, Maya John, said "whatever Kanhaiya said, his speech is for everyone to see. How can the footage with police be different from that with the university? Isn't it already fishy? Just because they needed someone to target, they picked upKanhaiya as he is the president."
Several activists joined by people from different walks of life staged a protest at Jantar Mantar, expressing solidarity with the agitating students and teachers of JNU.
Afzal Guru's lawyer N D Pancholi said, "Slapping sedition charges on students is condemnable and the government is using it to gag voices of criticism.
He said the freedom of speech is a fundamental right and even the Supreme Court said people can discuss or debate its judgments.
"Even in 1991, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had admitted that sedition law should be repealed as it was introduced by British rulers to establish their state," he said.
Earlier in the day, members of ABVP had also staged a protest on the campus and said those supporting Kanhaiya were also contributing to "anti-national" activities.