DU students march for JNU union president's release

Hundreds marched in Delhi University on Saturday for JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested last week for allegedly organising an event in which anti-India slogans were allegedly raised.

Participants in the protest staged outside DU’s Faculty of Arts and said they want immediate withdrawal of sedition charges against Kanhiya.

Dominant Left student parties in Jawaharlal Nehru University, All India Students' Association (AISA) of CPI (ML) and All India Students Federation (AISF) of CPI Students Federation of India (SFI), were joined in by leaders from Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Chatra Janta Dal (United). Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) also extended support to the protesters.

Saumyahit Bhattacharya of Kirori Mal College blamed JNU administration for the row. “The JNU authorities failed to judge the after-effect of the event,” he said. On January 9, Kanhaiya had allegedly organised February 9 event against the “judicial killing of Afzal Guru”.

“In a democracy, there is always space for differences. But this government is killing that space by booking innocent student with sedition charges. We oppose government crackdown on JNU and demand immediate release of Kanhaiya,” said RJD national spokesperson Manoj Jha.

Students and faculty members questioned the government’s decision of slapping sedition charges against Kanhaiya.

“Based on what has come out, Kanhaiya clearly didn’t shout any anti India slogans. Some video shows that he was seen in an event where anti-India slogans were raised, but the authenticity of video is still questionable,” said a protester.
Protesters said they do not want “RSS-ABVP certificate” on their “love for the country”.

“The government has shamefully tried to impress upon the citizens of the country that anyone opposing it is anti-national,” said Subhash, a member
of the Delhi state committee of KYC.

“The Left organisations have determinedly stood for the cause of Indian citizens and against the communal, casteist and discriminatory agenda
of the BJP government,” he added.

The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad said it will organise a march from Raj Ghat to Jantar Mantar to protest against the controversial event on February 9.

“We support the freedom of expression guaranteed in the Constitution. However, this cannot include incitement to acts of violence or calls for dismemberment of India,” said ABVP Delhi State Secretary Saket Bahuguna.

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