'Terrorism can't be allowed in name of debate'

Jawaharlal Nehru University students are not allowed to inflict terrorism in the name of debate, army veteran Major General G D Bakshi on Wednesday said during his visit to the university campus.

“If we are asked to separate Kashmir, Manipur tomorrow, what will happen? When you chop off any part of the body, be it the left or right hand, blood will ooze out,” the retired officer said, insisting that he has been invited by students who were concerned over the recent developments on the campus.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Akhi Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad-organised event ran into trouble as protesters came out in solidarity with students arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the controversial February 9 event.

“We doubt their intentions, they want a confrontation,” JNU students’ union (JNUSU) vice president Shehla Rashid Shora said, urging protesters from various Left-wing student parties to allow the ABVP to host the event.

She said that any confrontation will give the “ruling class” to extract “sympathy” from people.

“Is it possible to show magnanimity and be the big brother? We can sit in protest and hold placards,” Shora told the student gathering outside the administrative block. The open flight of steps on one side of the building was allocated for the ABVP event.

While paying homage to soldiers who killed in Pampore, Bakshi said, “I want to talk about nationalism. What is a nation? The people and the territory! I am an India because I was born in this territory. Hindu, Muslim, Christian, it doesn’t matter.”

“Capt Pawan Kumar and Tushar Mahajan were JNU graduates,” the retired Major General said, remembering army men who died in gunfight with a group of terrorists. He said the NDA cadets receive their university degrees from the JNU.

“We have laid our lives for the country, but has anyone on the campus has shed tears for them,” he said, criticising the February 9 event commemorating the “judicial killing” of Afzal Guru, the 2001 Parliament attack convict.

He also slammed the American ambassador to India for his comment on allowing free speech on campuses in India. “I want to ask him if any university in the US would allow slogans in support of Osama Bin Laden,” he told students.

The ABVP didn’t hold the event at the designated place outside the administrative block, as Left-wing activists continued to protest against the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya on charges of sedition.

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