NEW DELHI: BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, who has often taken a position at variance with the party's stand, today came out in support of arrested JNU student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who is facing sedition charges, and called for his release soon.
"Hope wish and pray that he's released soon, sooner the better...," the actor-turned-politician said, adding Kumar has said nothing anti-national, contradicting his party’s stand on the issue.
"Have heard transcript of speech of Kanhaiya, our Bihar boy president of JNUSU. He has said nothing anti-national or against Constitution," wrote Sinha on Twitter, the platform which he uses frequently to launch attacks against his party. Kumar is facing sedition charges for allegedly shouting anti-national slogans during an event organised at JNU campus last week to protest the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on his third death anniversary.
As the Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) row escalated, Sinha also countered the claim by some BJP leaders that the prestigious varsity has become the hub of anti-national activities.
"It(JNU) is a seat of learning for some of India's brightest young minds & also some very respectable teachers. Save it from further embarrassment," Sinha said. Sinha also said that any accusations in the JNU controversy needed to be substantiated with hard facts.
"If students, teachers or politicians make accusations, they need to be prepared to substantiate them with hard facts that they can stand by," he said in another tweet. "JNU is going through a crisis for reasons best known to politicians. It is an institution of international repute, enviable record &history," he added.
Kanhaiya Kumar falsely implicated: Bhushan
Senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan today alleged that arrested JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar has been "falsely implicated" and that he is ready to represent him in court.
"I am ready to represent Kanhaiya Kumar. I am usually busy with Supreme Court and High Court but if the need arises I will represent him because he is a fine student leader who has been falsely implicated," Bhushan said.
Swaraj Abhiyan, the outfit floated by Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, has been supporting the students and teachers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University who have been agitating in the wake of Kumar's arrest over charges of sedition.
Professor Anand Kumar, another leader of the group who also taught in JNU, has slammed the police action as "shameless abuse" of state power to settle political score which is making a "mockery of democracy".
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.