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JNU row: ‘Pro-Afzal’ slogans at JU rally, students blame ‘fringe groups’

While the BJP and its students’ front, the ABVP, demanded immediate arrest of those who had raised these slogans, the JU students’ union (JUSU) maintained it was the work of “fringe elements”.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | Kolkata | Updated: February 17, 2016 3:16 pm
JNU row, jadavpur university, kanhaiya kumar, ABVP, JUSU, pro afzal guru slogan, afzal guru, kolkata news Jadavpur University students take out a torch rally to protest against arrest of JNU student union president, in Kolkata on Tuesday.

Slogans in favour of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru were allegedly raised by some people taking part in a rally by Jadavpur University students on Tuesday to protest the recent arrest of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar.

While the BJP and its students’ front, the ABVP, demanded immediate arrest of those who had raised these slogans, the JU students’ union (JUSU) maintained it was the work of “fringe elements”.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Jadavpur) Suranjan Das was not available for comment despite repeated attempts. The ruling Trinamool Congress did not comment officially.

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During a torch rally from Jadavpur University (JU) campus to Gol Park in South Kolkata by students of all faculties of the university, slogans such as “Afzal bole azadi, Geelani bole azadi” and “Chhinke lenge azadi” were raised. Among other slogans were “Freedom from RSS, freedom from Modi government”, “Jab Kashmir ne maangi azadi, Manipur bhi boli azadi”.

A JUSU spokesperson said: “It was a large gathering and some fringe elements raised these slogans. We immediately asked them not to. It doesn’t mean any anti-national virus is spreading…”

Samanya Raha, local committee secretary of the CPI(M)-affiliated Students Federation of India (SFI), who took part in the rally, said it was a “mass gathering” against Kanhaiya’s arrest.

Another participant, Nirjhar Mukherjee, said, “We had raised the call for azaadi, but it is important to understand the context. I didn’t raise slogans in support of Afzal or Geelani, but asked for azadi, or freedom, from the atrocities of Modi government. I love my country and it is not anti-national to demand this. I asked for azadi for tolerance, for a world where Dalits and Muslims aren’t targeted. I raised slogans for azadi of Dalits and farmers. Does that mean they are going to create a new country?”

Mukherjee also said, “There were some people around me who raised slogans in support of Afzal and Geelani, and I was shocked to hear it.”

Soon after sections of the protest featuring these slogans were captured by news agency ANI, the BJP and ABVP demanded immediate arrest of the “anti-national elements” in Jadavpur University.

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BJP leader Sidharth Nath Singh said, “The TMC should immediately arrest those who can be seen (in footage) raising anti-national slogans, but they will not do so. They want (to do) vote bank politics; they won’t take such a step before the elections. But by not doing so, TMC will stand alongside these anti-national elements.”

ABVP state secretary Subir Haldar also said the “anti national elements” should be immediately arrested ? “They’re ruining JU.”
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, “I condemn the incident. Such anti-national slogans cannot be tolerated.”

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  1. T
    Feb 18, 2016 at 4:59 pm
    I highly advocate the freedom of speech. But at the same time that does not mean that someone has the right to abuse hisher own nation. Raising slogan against nation is indeed anti national act and the guilty must be punished according to the law of the land.
    1. B
      Bolo Ram
      Feb 17, 2016 at 1:36 am
      Those shouting slogans against Hindustan are the children of people fled E.stan( Bangladesh) to protect their lives from Muslims. Those spineless,cowards are shouting against HIndustan in support of Afzal Guru. They should be sent back to the country of their origin along with the minority infiltrators.
      1. D
        Feb 17, 2016 at 2:59 am
        Student leaders are trying make us fool? They are responsible for any wrong doing within m gathering. I was also a student of JU, but I dont support of anti national slogans.
        1. D
          Feb 17, 2016 at 8:11 am
          It is really abominable and disappointing to see how morally bankrupt and hypocrite this so called leftists intellectuals have become now a days. In 70s, the brightest of the bengal's student destro their lives for a ideal society - however immature and dangerous their path might be. And, now these guys - after smoking some weeds - think barking at anything will bring them revolution. At one hand they are so bothered about kashmir and freedom of speech - and at the same time when Chinese Govt kills scores in Uighur, deny their basic rights to observe Roja - their leaders like Karat and Yechury are always ready to lick their feet - their definition of truly progressive thought...of course .. Rahul hi's Govt executed Afzal - a convicted terrorist - and now he is enjoying his evening in JNU - and JNU is supposed to be epitome of free thought...Shameless Hypocrisy... The opposition parties should ensure that the arrested student gets a free and unbiased trial in the court of law - without any prejudice - rather than indulging in such shameless political vulgarism.
          1. A
            Feb 17, 2016 at 6:34 am
            99.99 % of west Bengal don't care about Kashmir Ki Azadi or Afzal. These students want media attention. This is for their political career. They will get arrested. Media will take interview of their parents. W India will know their name. This is their game plan.
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