Some 'anti-national' incidents at JNU: Govt

Some 'anti-national' incidents at JNU: Govt

Some 'anti-national' incidents at JNU: Govt

Amid a huge row over whether Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students indulged in anti-national activities, the government on Tuesday said a few instances of students have been found involved in Maoist and anti-national activities.

In a written reply, Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said as and when any information or complaint in this regard is received, proper legal or administrative action is taken.

“A few instances, attracting disciplinary action, have come to the notice of the university,” he said.

A February 9 event organised by a section of students on the JNU campus to protest the 2013 hanging of Afzal Guru had turned into a controversy following authorities slapping sedition charges on students and arresting students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and two others Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharjee.

The issue also rocked Parliament with the opposition trying to corner the government over the issue. It also reignited the debate on the continuation of the section in Indian Penal Code dealing with sedition.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani also found herself in trouble over her response to the debate on the situation in JNU besides Hyderabad Central University after she made some references from a pamphlet, which the opposition said was denigrating Goddess Durga. The opposition has served separate breach of privilege notices against Irani in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

The Union Home Ministry had earlier told Parliament that the Democratic Students Union (DSU) in JNU was a front organisation of the CPI(Maoist), though students affiliated to the outfit had rejected such charges. Khalid and Bhattacharjee are members of DSU.

Law panel perusing sedition laws

Amid a debate over the existence of sedition charges in penal code following JNU controversy, the government on Tuesday said the Law Commission is studying the various facets of the controversial provision, DHNS reports from New Delhi.

In a written reply to a question raised by CPM MP M B Rajesh, Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said the Law Commission has intimated that they have identified certain focus areas. The commission has also formed subgroups to deliberate on such areas, Chaudhary said. The Law and Justice Ministry had earlier asked the commission to study the usage of provision of Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code.

The minister was asked whether the govt has taken note of allegations of widespread abuse and arbitrary use of sedition law by police in the country and whether the govt proposes to bring reforms in the entire sedition law drafted in the colonial era.

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