The JNU students union today condemned the arrest of its president Kanhaiya Kumar in connection with an event on the campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, saying the students are being "witch-hunted" and police is targeting them mindlessly.
"The police is mindlessly patrolling the campus and the students are being witch-hunted and demonised for doing nothing. What is the proof that Kanhaiya was there among those raising anti-India slogans? Has he been spotted in any picture or video? Why are all JNU students being given 'anti-national' certificates," said JNUSU vice president Shehla Rashid Shora. Agitated over Kanhaiya's arrest, the students gathered outside the Vice Chancellor's office demanding intervention on the issue.
"Why is the administration not protecting students against this selective targeting by ABVP. Why police have been given such a free hand to rashly pick students from campus?
Why were the cops not uniformed? If there has to be an inquiry, why no protocols are being followed," said a member of the All India Students Association (AISA).
Kanhaiya was arrested this afternoon after police had picked him up for questioning.
A case against "unknown persons" was registered yesterday under Section of 124 A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC against unknown persons at Vasant Kunj (North) Police station following complaints by BJP MP Mahesh Girri and ABVP.
A group of students on Tuesday held an event on the JNU campus and allegedly shouted slogans against the hanging of Guru in 2013. Earlier this week, some students had pasted posters across the campus inviting people to a protest march against "judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt" and in solidarity with "struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self-determination" at the varsity's Sabarmati dhaba.
Members of ABVP objected to the event and wrote to the Vice Chancellor that such kind of protest should not be held on the campus of an educational institution, prompting the university administration to order cancellation of the march.
The JNU administration had already ordered a "disciplinary" inquiry into the incident saying that the act of students going ahead with the event despite cancellation of permission amounted to indiscipline and any talk about country's disintegration cannot be "national".