KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday voiced concern over the formation of a panel to probe into the alleged 'communal statements' of IIT Kanpur students made at a recent rally there against changes in the Citizenship Act.
Banerjee voiced the concern while expressing "solidarity" with students protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed creation of a National Register fo Citizens.
"Sad and deeply concerned to know about what is happening with Kanpur IIT students who expressed solidarity with JMI and AMU students over the CAA and NRC," Banerjee wrote on her Facebook page.
Banerjee also asserted that everyone has the right to express oneself in a in a democratic country.
"I understand that a committee has been constituted against the students who participated in a protest march. In a democratic country, everyone has the right to express oneself," she said.
The IIT-Kanpur students had held a peaceful march at the campus protesting the amended citizenship law and the proposed NRC and had also condemned the police action against Jamia Millia students on New Delhi.
After the rally, an IIT-Kanpur professor lodged a complaint against students for allegedly raising "anti-India" and "communal" slogans.
The IIT-Kanpur administration on Saturday had formed a panel to look into the complaint.
Banerjee, who has emerged as a strident critic of the CAA and the proposed NRC, said such an attempt to "throttle the voice of students" of academic excellence is an "unwelcome" effort.
"Any intimidation or curbs to throttle voice of students, that too in a centre of academic excellence, is most unwelcome. We express our solidarity with the student community in their protest against the CAA and NRC," she said.
Banerjee on Monday had described the current situation arising out of protests in the country against the CAA and the proposed NRC as "serious" and written to all non-BJP parties urging them to unite against the "draconian regime" of the Central government.