Oppn criticizes Modi govt over JNU violence

Oppn criticizes Modi govt over JNU violence

The Modi government on Monday came under massive attack from the opposition, youths, actors, activists and business tycoons over the "horrifying" violence on JNU students, with the Congress describing the rampage by masked goons as an example of "state-sponsored terrorism" reminiscent of Nazi rule.

As terrified students of JNU reeled under Sunday evening's "mayhem", people hit the streets in multiple cities and towns across the country, condemning the assault and demanding action against the guilty.

A masked mob armed with iron rods, sticks and sledgehammers went on a rampage for over two hours in Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday evening, leaving at least 34 students and teachers injured.

Demands for holding Delhi Police Chief Amulya Patnaik accountable for keeping police as "bystanders" during the attacks and the removal of JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar for failing to "protect" the dignity of the institute grew louder.

Congress' Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, NCP's Sharad Pawar, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D Raja, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and JD-U's K C Tyagi were among those who strongly condemned the attacks on JNU students.

"Yesterday’s bone-chilling attack on students and teachers in JNU, Delhi, is a grim reminder of the extent the government will go to stifle and subjugate every voice of dissent," Sonia Gandhi said.

Thackeray even compared the JNU violence with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and said students were feeling "unsafe" in the country.

The Congress alleged that the goons involved in the attack belonged to the Bharatiya Janta Party and its frontal wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad. The charge was rejected by both organisations.

Video footage aired by TV channels showed that a former JNU student and ABVP member was among the goons involved in the rampage.

"The manner in which youth is being attacked and their voices stifled reminds us of the Nazi Germany of 1933 which seems to have come back under the rule of Modi and Amit Shah after 90 years," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

On its part, the JNU Teachers' Association demanded the removal of Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, alleging that he failed to protect the students and instead of damaging the premier institute.

CPI(M) general secretary Yechury, a former JNUSU president, said, "The vice-chancellor is also complicit in this attack. He must be sacked immediately."

In solidarity with JNU students, protests were held at Pondicherry University, Bangalore University, University of Hyderabad, Aligarh Muslim University, University of Mumbai, Delhi University, Ambedkar University, Banaras Hindu University, Chandigarh University, National Law University in Bengaluru, Savitri Bai Phule University in Pune, TISS Mumbai, Jadavpur University, Presidency University, Kolkata and IIT Bombay.

Several Bollywood actors and filmmakers including Rajkummar Rao, Kriti Sanon, Anurag Kashyap and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja also expressed their anguish over the attacks on the JNU students.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International India, too, criticised the Delhi Police for "repeatedly failing" to protect the students peacefully protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Delhi Police remained "shameful bystanders to mob brutality on students", its all-India Executive Director Avinash Kumar said in a statement.

In a statement, Sonia Gandhi alleged that the "horrifying" violence unleashed on India's youth by goons was with the active abetment of the ruling Modi government and demanded an independent judicial inquiry into it.

"The voice of India’s youth and students is being muzzled every day. The horrifying and unprecedented violence unleashed on India’s young by goons with active abetment of the ruling Modi government is deplorable and unacceptable," she charged.

Gandhi alleged that everyday campuses and colleges are raided across India, either by the police or lumpen elements with the support of the BJP government.

Lawyer-activists Prashant Bhushan tweeted: "This is the goonda Raj of the BJP/ABVP unleashed at JNU with armed goons attacking students, teachers, doctors, mediamen! All aided & abetted by the @DelhiPolice."

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra also expressed concern over the attacks on JNU students.

"It doesn't matter what your politics are. It doesn't matter what your ideology is. It doesn't matter what your faith is. If you're an Indian, you cannot tolerate armed, lawless goons. Those who invaded JNU tonight must be traced & hunted down swiftly & given no quarter..," he tweeted. 

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