NEW DELHI: The escalating stand-off over the arrest of JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges today saw the students going on strike till he is released.
While the teachers yesterday extended solidarity with the students over the issue, they have not joined the strike yet. Kanhaiya, who was sent to three-days police custody, will be produced in court today. Vice Chancellor Jadesh Kumar appealed to the students to not resort to strikes and protests so that academic functioning of the university is not hampered.
"We also stand for free expression of ideas but I believe there is no need for strikes as the problem can be solved amicably. We are reaching out to the entire JNU community to see how the problem can be addressed but academic functioning of the university is of prime importance and should not be hampered," he told reporters.
While the teachers association of the university have raised questions over the VC allowing a police crackdown on campus, Kumar said he was bound with the "law of land". "I never invited the police to enter the campus and pick our students. We only provided whatever cooperation was needed as per the law of land. We were bound to do so," he added.
JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested last week in connection with a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy registered over holding of the event at the varsity during which anti-India slogans were alleged to have been raised.
His arrest has triggered widespread outrage among students and teachers and drawn severe criticism from non-BJP political parties. The university teachers had yesterday rallied behind its protesting students and questioned the administration's decision to allow the police crackdown on the campus even as they appealed to the public not to "brand" the institution as "anti-national".
Teachers bodies of 40 central universities and Pune-based FTII had also come out in support of the agitating students saying it is an issue of "indiscipline" and not "sedition".