Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi alleged there was “tacit support” of the Prime Minister for the police attack on students in JNU and said the BJP-led Centre is attempting to “impose” RSS ideology on educational institutions of the country.
“There has to be the tacit support of the Prime Minister for the police attack on the students in JNU. The Delhi police commissioner has not said anything on it. There has to be some power backing him,” Gogoi claimed while addressing the media.
Firing yet another salvo at the government, BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha said institutions and systems of governance have been allowed to be “tarnished by anarchy and police inaction” and disapproved of slapping of sedition charges against a JNU student leader.
Sinha, who has often taken a position at variance with the party’s stand, came out in support of arrested JNU student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar, who is facing sedition charges, and called for his release soon. He said inaction by police against assualt by some lawyers at a court complex presented a “very poor image” which could have been avoided.
In a dig at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for his stand on the JNU row and police action against students, yoga guru Baba Ramdev said that friendship with country’s “traitors” is equivalent to treachery.
Asking the government to identify the “real traitors” so that innocents are not punished, Ramdev appealed to all
parties to rise above “vote-bank politics” for the sake of the country’s unity.
“Friendship with country’s traitors is also considered as treachery. In the eyes of law, supporting anti-national elements is also a crime,” Ramdev told reporters when asked about Rahul’s stand on the issue.
A day after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh triggered another controversy amid the protests over police action at JNU by claiming that the “JNU incident” was supported by Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Monday said Singh’s statement was based on intelligence inputs which could not be shared in public.
“Intelligence inputs indicate clearly that Hafiz Saaed and related organisations support the incident. The home minister has made a statement based on intelligence inputs,” Rijiju told reporters.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon, Monday said the government should avoid getting trapped in issues like the JNU row and leave such matters to the university administration. “The JNU should be left to identify and punish the guilty. Government must avoid getting trapped into such issues. If such extreme anti-national slogans have been shouted then JNU must be directed to act against the guilty,” she tweeted.
Shaw is among the few corporate leaders who have reacted to the event. Earlier, Mohandas Pai, the former Infosys CFO , too, had said the government was getting trapped in an ideological battle.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi attacked BJP and RSS, saying they wanted to control everyone’s views and follow the agenda of creating divide and hatred among people.
“BJP and RSS are following the agenda of creating divide and hatred, as can be seen from the recent developments in JNU, by imposing their views forcibly on people,” Gandhi said at a party meeting here in Assam’s Sonitpur district.
He alleged, “BJP and RSS have no respect for the diversity of the nation’s culture and sentiments of the people. They just want that everybody follow their views. They find terrorism everywhere, even in universities and brand anybody who do not agree with their views as terrorists.”
In a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi over the JNU row, BJP chief Amit Shah said he had “proved” that national interest had no place in his mind and asked if the Congress vice president had joined hands with separatist forces and wanted another division of India.
Speaking on the raging controversy for the first time, Shah asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul a host of questions and demanded that he apologise for his stand on the JNU issue, saying support to anti-national forces in the name of the Left’s progressive ideology is not acceptable.
Taking an aggressive stand on the turmoil at JNU, Shiv Sena today said all politicians who support the students’ agitation should be stripped off their ‘elected status’ and those raising slogans against India put behind bars.
Citing the example of cricketer Virat Kohli’s Pakistani fan being declared an “anti-national” by the neighboring country for waving an Indian flag, the Sena said all those sloganeering against India should be declared “anti-nationals”.
“All those who are sloganeering against India should be immediately put behind bars. The JNU campus has now become a hub of not only anti-nationals, but of Pakistani and Chinese agents, who are indulging in anti-national activities on government’s money,” an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
Concerned over JNU row, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said government should not interfere much in the functioning of universities and that such educational institutions should be treated as autonomous.
“My personal view is that we shouldn’t have too much government interference in universities. Even as minister, I felt our education system is over-regulated and under- governed,” Tharoor told PTI on the sidelines of ‘Make in India Week’ here.
“We should leave universities as autonomous places,” he said, adding that as a minister he would not have written to the Vice Chancellor about matters related to disciplining or punishments.
Hitting back at BJP chief Amit Shah for attacking Rahul Gandhi over the JNU row, Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said those once “externed by the Supreme Court over criminal charges” should not teach patriotism to the Congress, which has played a “stellar role” in freedom movement.
Surjewala told reporters here it is ironical that those who are “inheritors of the thought process of Nathuram Godse” are giving new definition of patriotism and love for the nation.
He said it was “distressing and condemnable” that “those who helped British and sided with them” in the freedom movement and whose parent organisation RSS did not hoist the National flag at its headquarters in Nagpur were teaching nationalism to Congress.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury launched a stinging attack on right-wing outfits for allegedly labeling Left parties as “anti-national” forces, saying there can’t be a “bigger” farce than “Godse-worshippers” putting out certificates on nationalism.
“There can be no bigger farce than Godse-worshippers putting out certificates on nationalism,” Yechury tweeted.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar attacked the Centre on the arrest of JNU Students’ Union president on sedition charge saying it was “too much of a design” to impose the ideology of ABVP, the student wing of the RSS, on the nation.
He claimed it was “like imposing Emergency” in the country.
“It’s too much of a design to impose ideology of ABVP, which is the student wing of RSS in educational institutions,” Kumar told reporters after ‘Janata Ke Darbar Mein Mukhya Mantri’ programme.
BSP President Mayawati alleged the NDA government had branded JNU as “anti-national” to implement the “extreme and offensive agenda” of the RSS and
termed as “political conspiracy” the arrest of JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges.
She also said the role of central minister or central government after the suicide of dalit student Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad to the JNU incident has been very negative, which was indicative of “a very dangerous trend”.
“In one stroke, the BJP-led government has branded the prestigious institution like JNU as anti-national in order to implement the extreme and offensive agenda of the RSS,” Mayawati said in a statement here.
Congress MP Kumari Selja said her party would raise the issue of the ongoing unrest on the JNU campus in Parliament and demanded that a high-level probe be conducted into the matter.
Talking to reporters here, she said the allegation by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that the JNU event had the backing of Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed as “very serious”.
“The Union Minister should have shared the evidence with the people of the country to back his serious allegation. Congress would raise the issue in the Budget Session,” she said.
Social activist Swami Agnivesh alleged that attempts were being made by ABVP, RSS and BJP to defame the “highest traditions of JNU” as their student’s wing was defeated in the campus elections.
“The attempts being made by responsible leaders of ABVP (Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad), RSS and BJP to defame highest traditions of JNU are highly condemnable. It was being done as ABVP lost to Kanhaiya Kumar (JNUSU president). It is totally wrong and such dirty acts should not have any place in
politics,” he told reporters.
“The incident of Hyderabad’s Central University is being re-played in JNU. I am pained to say that there is an unwanted hurriedness on the part of government to foster RSS-BJP men on key positions. May be to fulfil their own interests. It is a big attack on country’s intellectual heritage and we all should remain cautious on the issue,” Agnivesh alleged.
Maninderjit Singh Bitta
Chairman of All-India Anti-Terrorism Front Maninderjit Singh Bitta along with the kin of Parliament attack victims today demanded stringent action against the students allegedly involved in the “anti-national act” in the JNU.
They also threatened to protest if no action was taken against those guilty of holding an event in support of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on the JNU campus.
“We demand stringent action against those who had raised slogans against India, the judicial hanging of terror convict Afzal Guru, in support of Pakistan and demanded freedom of Kashmir. They have insulted the sentiments of those families whose sons, brothers or husbands have sacrificed their lives during the 2001 Parliament attack,” said Bitta.
B S Bassi
Justifying the arrest of JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi claimed that he had raised anti-national slogans during the controversial event in the campus but said police have so far found “no evidence linking the LeT” to the incident.
“Kanhaiya was present at the event, where he delivered a speech and participated in an unlawful assembly which indulged in anti-India sloganeering. It was because of his involvement, and the evidence we have collected so far, that he has been arrested under charge of sedition,” Bassi told reporters here
after meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Firebrand BJP MP Yogi Adityanath said anti-India slogan shouting at JNU shows that some “anti-national elements” were active in the university.
The Gorakhpur MP said there is a limit to freedom of expression and using it for indulging in anti-national activities was “unpardonable”.
“The action taken in JNU case is justified and in national interest. Anti-national slogan shouting in JNU shows that some anti-national elements are active there,” Adityanath said.
Former CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat attacked the Narendra Modi Government alleging that it “directed the crisis” at JNU and was attempting to impose ideological hegemony on varsities in the country.
“Ever since the Modi Government came to power, universities across the country have been under siege. There have been constant attempts to impose ideological hegemony on universities,” said Karat during his visit to protest-hit JNU.
Karat, also ex-JNUSU president, added, “This crisis at JNU has also been directed by the top government machinery…RSS has always called JNU a den of anti-nationals.”
Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi promised action against those involved in the attack on media persons in Patiala House court during the proceedings connected with the sedition case against JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar.
“Law will take its course. Action will be taken in accordance with law against anybody who takes the law in their hands. I will speak to Delhi Police Commissioner,” he told reporters.
He was answering questions on the alleged beating up of journalists and students and teachers of JNU in the court.
Amid a row over an event at JNU, RSS leader Dattatreya Hosabale has alleged that it was a result of a “conspiracy” and those who raised slogans in support of
Pakistan and Afzal Guru are “traitors” and should be charged with treason.
Students participating in such sloganeering must be dealt with strictly, he said. Hosabale alleged that the JNU event was a result of a “conspiracy”.
Speaking at the Mahanagar Swayamsewak Sangam here yesterday, the RSS Joint General Secretary wondered how a generation of students indulging in anti-national sloganeering came up in an institution, which is known as a temple of learning.
[with PTI inputs]