JNU students, teachers protest over arrest

Many students and teachers of Jawahar Lal Nehru University on Friday protested arrest of the JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar from the campus. 

The protesters thronged the university’s administrative block after Kanhaiya’s arrest. Calling his arrest on charges of sedition an “undeclared emergency”, left wing students’ organisations in JNU alleged that right leaning outfits are bent on “altering the university’s character”.

Seeing the situation going out of its hand, JNU administration regulated entry of outsiders, including media personnel. 

“The way Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), and BJP government have worked in tandem in the whole affair, it’s clear that they are working towards a mission to rid the varsity off its character. Few days back, Subramanian Swamy called JNU as ‘aatankwad ka gad’. It’s clear that all the Sangh affiliates want to tarnish the image of JNU,” said Vishwajeet, National general secretary, All India Students Federation (AISF).

Former JNU students also came in support of the arrested student and expressed doubts over the intent behind the charges.

“As he belongs to the All India Students’ Federation, his views and political associations are well-known, and to accuse him of sedition is beyond the bounds of credibility,” a statement issued by nine former deans of various schools in JNU said on Kanhaiya’s arrest.

“The only previous occasion when the president of the JNUSU had been arrested was during the Emergency of 1975-77, and the present situation on the campus brings back memories of the Emergency days,” the statement said.

Students, claiming no affiliation to political outfits, also said they were saddened by the turn of events in the past few days. 

“For the first time in my two years here, I saw the main gate of the university being shut for outsiders. I am not affiliated to any particular student group and think that both the sides went overboard here,” said Karthick, a second year Political Science student of JNU.

“All the organizations here are against capital punishment, so to that extent I also supported the event related to Afzal Guru. But after that what happened is condemnable. The anti-India slogan shouting shouldn’t have happened. I still don’t know who did it,” Karthick added.

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