The controversy over crackdown on student union leaders at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) took a new turn on Sunday with Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying that the event organised in memory of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru had “support” from Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Hafiz Saeed.
“The incident (Afzal event) at JNU has received support from Hafiz Saeed. This is a truth that the nation needs to understand. What has happened is very unfortunate,” Singh said in Allahabad.
Left parties and the Congress challenged Singh’s claim. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D Raja demanded that Singh must come out with evidence to support his claim, describing the home minister’s remark as “very serious allegation”.
Home ministry sources said Singh’s statement was based on the “consolidated inputs” from security agencies.
Sources also pointed at a series of tweets posted two days ago, purportedly by Saeed, asking Pakistanis to support the agitation in the JNU. The Delhi police, which was probing whether the twitter handle actually belonged to the LeT founder, tweeted: “This is to alert and sensitise the student community in JNU and across the country. Do not get carried away by such seditious anti-national rhetoric.
Abetment of any kind of anti-national activity is a punishable offence.”The home minister avoided questions on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s presence at JNU and allegations that Raja’s daughter was among the sloganeering students. “I will not name any names here....all I say is that everyone should oppose anti-national activities,” Singh said.
CPM office attackedMeanwhile, the CPM office was vandalised by a group of people. In a statement in the evening, the CPM polit bureau condemned the incident, saying “a few goons owing allegiance to the right-wing forces” attacked the party headquarters.“Party comrades....apprehended one of the attackers and handed him over to the Delhi Police. The police must thoroughly investigate this incident and take action against the culprits and their mentors,” it said.
Amid the developments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting on the issue. Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP chief Amit Shah attended the meeting.
In another development, the ABVP lodged a complaint with the Delhi police after a video purportedly showing its members shouting pro-Pakistan slogans appeared on social media.
Issuing a statement here, the ABVP described the one-minute-32-second video on the YouTube titled ‘The Conspiracy’ as “morphed”. “Video....is totally false and incorrect. In the wake of this incident, the ABVP has registered its complaint (with) the cyber cell about forged video,” it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, police registered a case against unidentified persons after senior Congress leader Anand Sharma lodged a complaint that he was attacked by some ABVP members while returning with Rahul Gandhi from the JNU campus on Saturday evening.