DMK condemns attack on Tamil students in JNU

Secretaries of DMK’s youth and students wing said the ABVP will have to answer 'every drop of blood' shed by Tamil students
Last Updated : 21 February 2023, 15:30 IST

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Tamil Nadu’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Tuesday condemned the attack on Tamil students in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi belonging to various organisations allegedly by members of BJP’s student wing, ABVP, who reportedly vandalised pictures of social reformer E V R Periyar, and Karl Marx.

In a joint statement, secretaries of DMK’s youth and students wing, Udhayanidhi Stalin and C V M P Ezhilarasan, said the ABVP will have to answer “every drop of blood” shed by Tamil students at the prestigious university.

"ABVP members have mercilessly attacked Tamil students and vandalised the portraits of Periyar, who fought for equal rights to women and advocated for a casteless society, and leaders of the Communist movement," Udhayanidhi and Ezhilarasan said in the statement.

"It is political decency that contrary views are responded to in a dignified manner but the ABVP which thrives on hate politics has resorted to violence, and we condemn the attack on Tamil students," they added.

The joint statement came a day after Chief Minister M K Stalin said universities are not just spaces for learning but also for discussion, debate and dissent while condemning the "cowardly attack" on Tamil students.

"The securities of JNU & Delhi Police have time and again turned mute spectators to the violence unleashed on students who fight for their rights & are critical of the Union BJP regime. I express my solidarity with the students & request VC to initiate action against the culprits and protect students from Tamil Nadu," Stalin had said.

Tuesday also saw Udhayanidhi speaking to one of the students who was allegedly attacked by ABVP members on a video call. In a video released by the DMK, the Sports Minister is heard asking the students about the incident and promising to meet them in person soon.

"It is painful to know that students from Tamil Nadu studying in #JNU were attacked by #ABVP political goons. This kind of political violence happening in a globally reputed institution is an assault on pluralistic democracy. It should not be tolerated,” he wrote on Twitter.

In his reaction, Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai said the ABVP scheduled an event at the student activity centre in JNU honour Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at 6:30 pm on Sunday but it began an hour later since SFI’s event dragged on more than the scheduled time.

"ABVP’s students took a break at 8:30 PM & while they were out for Dinner, Students belonging to SFI stepped into the activity centre and vandalised the portraits of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj & Maha Rana Pratap, which were kept with prior permission from JNU authorities," Annamalai alleged.

He also said when the ABVP Students confronted the SFI students for their behaviour, they were told that the activity centre can only have the Portraits of Karl Marx & Lenin. “SFI later retorted to abuses against women ABVP students which led to the exchange of blows from either side. Students from both sides were injured in this incident,” he added.

Published 21 February 2023, 15:30 IST

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