New Delhi: If we are being called anti nationals for shouting “seditious” slogans questioning hanging of Afzal Guru, then why BJP has an alliance with PDP in Kashmir, which has always “opposed” his execution, asked three students of JNU who were under scanner for an event on campus on the same issue.
“Can BJP charge PDP with sedition for its stand on Afzal Guru. If even thinking about Guru makes a student seditious, why they have an alliance with PDP in Kashmir, which has always opposed the hanging of Afzal Guru and even was party to a resolution brought in the state assembly against his execution,” Ashutosh, told reporters here.
JNUSU General Secretary Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Anant Prakash, are among the five students who have resurfaced back on campus after 10 days of JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest on sedition charges for allegedly raising anti-India slogans during the controversial.
Anant, former Vice President of JNUSU, said, “we are not receiving fellowships on time and they talk about us receiving foreign funding for ‘seditious’ events on campus. Even if they consider any activity to be unconstitutional or unlawful, they can condemn it but not criminalise.”
“The entire country’s energy and time is being wasted by using the top machinery for spying against students debating on campus. If we stand opposite to their ideology then they should bring us in mainstream like they did with PDP. How funny it is that they don’t share the ideology but can share the power?” he added.
The trio surfaced back on the varsity campus on Sunday night along with Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya who have been sent to three days police remand by a city court, after their midnight surrender and subsequent arrest in the case.
Reiterating their stand of not surrendering before police, Rama Naga said, “We have not been issued any summons so why should we surrender. We have communicated police about our whereabouts and that we are open to questioning”.
“We are going to join the movement against branding of the university as anti-national and attack on students. If the movement goes outside the campus, we are going to join there as well,” he added.
The students also feature in the list of those who were academically debarred by the university on basis of a preliminary enquiry report by a high-level committee probing the issue. The varsity has allowed them to stay as guests in hostels to enable them to participate in enquiry process.
Jawaharlal Nehru University is caught in a row over an event held on February 9, in the campus to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, where “anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised.
The event organisers had pasted posters across the campus inviting students to gather for a protest march against “judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat” and in solidarity with the “struggle” of Kashmiri migrants at the Sabarmati dhaba in the campus.
The programme called “A country without a post office — against the judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt”, was supposed to showcase the protest through poetry, art and music.
This set off the row, with the Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staging a protest to demand expulsion of the organisers.
The university administration ordered a “disciplinary” enquiry and said the event organisers “went ahead without permission.”
The students who were part of the committee that organised an event to mark the death anniversary of Afzal Guru said that none of them were part of the group that was shouting slogans.
A case of sedition against several unknown students was lodged at Vasant Kunj (North) police station. It was registered under IPC Sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (acts done by several persons with a common intention).
The university also initiated action, barring eight students from academic activity pending an enquiry, though they would be allowed to stay as guests in the hostels.
JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on sedition charges.
Many JNU students including Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, too were booked by Delhi police on sedition charges. After playing hide and seek with police for many days, Umar and Anirban surrendered on Thursday. All three JNU students are presently on judicial remand.