Lawyers march against 'anti-nationals'

Simmering varsity: Advocates had ignored police summons for questioning

Lawyers march against 'anti-nationals'

Hundreds of lawyers on Friday took out a march against “anti-national” sloganeering at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Among them were two lawyers who have ignored police summons over violence at the Patiala House Courts.

The lawyers in the march had responded to Facebook posts by Vikram Chauhan, who has failed to present himself for questioning for the violence at the court.Chauhan was part of the procession, but did not interact with mediapersons. He tried to evade journalists when questions were asked regarding summons sent by the Delhi Police.  

Chauhan and two other lawyers have been asked by the Delhi Police to join the probe in connection with the two FIRs, but they have not met the SHO of Tilak Marg police station. On Friday, the lawyers marched from the court in central Delhi to India Gate shouting slogans and waving the national flag in heavy police presence. They also burnt an effigy of “traitors” to the country.

The police have failed to bring the lawyers to book four days after the assault, and directions by the Supreme Court.

Chauhan had led a group of lawyers involved in the assault of journalists, JNU students and professors at Patiala House Courts complex both on Monday and Wednesday, when JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar was being produced. Chauhan has been asking lawyers on Facebook to join a “peace march”. In several posts, Chauhan urged them to reach the court to “demonstrate patriotism” and “teach the traitors a lesson.”

Shouting “Vande Mataram” and “Pakistan murdabad”, the lawyers waved Indian flags to mark their opposition to “anti-nationals”.

“We must never forgive the traitors of the country. It is time to send these people back to their country,” said Rakesh Arora, a lawyer in the march.

“We are not saying that people in our society are anti-national, the court has found Kanhaiya Kumar guilty,” said another lawyer.

IITians support JNU students
Humanity and social sciences scholars of many of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) have joined the JNU protest, denouncing filing of a sedition case against varsity students, DHNS reports from New Delhi. They also condemned the “repeated acts of violence unleashed by some lawyers” and others at the Patiala House Courts against the university faculty, students and the media, as well as the “police inaction”.  A group of students and research scholars from IIT-Bombay and other higher educational institutions in the financial capital will be visiting the JNU on February 23 to meet the varsity’s student’s union leaders and express their solidarity to their protest, Amit Kumar Mishra, an IIT-Bombay scholar who is one of the signatories in the joint statement, said. “We see attack on the JNU as one of a series of attacks on academic autonomy and the liberal ethos of learning. We stand in solidarity with JNUSU, JNUTA (teacher association), students and all democratic bodies and individuals who are defending the liberal ethos of universities and appreciate the critical role they play in maintaining constitutional democracy,” the IIT scholars said in a joint statement.

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