Leaders of Left and other opposition parties today sought President Pranab Mukherjee's intervention in the immediate release of JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who led the delegation to Mukherjee, claimed that the President expressed "great degree of concern" over issues it raised and assured that he will look into the matter.
Besides Yechury, CPI leaders S Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja, NCP's DP Tripathi, JD(U) MP Pavan Varma and RJD MP Premchand Gupta were part of the delegation.
"We demanded the President to see that Kanhaiya Kumar and other students who are charged based on fabricated evidences, are released immediately and not harassed. We also have submitted a memorandum to this regard to the President," Yechury told reporters after the meeting.
The delegation also noted "those who worship" Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse tried to position themselves as nationalist and opposition parties as "anti-nationalists" on the pretext of the JNU row and stressed politics of this sort "cannot go on" in the country.
"And hence, we urged the President to step in to protect sanctity of Constitution," Yechury said.
The leaders observed right-wing outfits were spreading "anti-Dalit" and "anti-marginalised" venom in varsities across the country "as seen" in Hyderabad Central University, FTII and Jadavpur University and yet the Union government, it alleged, is not acting against them.
They also accused the government of trying to convert Indian democratic republic into RSS' version of Hindu Rashtra and allegedly attacking education system to achieve that goal.
"The government it seems is encouraging these things, because it is not taking any step for country's security even though everything is happening right under their nose. So, we urged the President to step in also to save the Indian Republic," Yechury added.
He also said the opposition leaders will "mount pressure" on the government over the issue during forthcoming budget session of Parliament beginning on February 23.