Alumni, political leaders and civil society members Tuesday spoke at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus against the violence that took place on Sunday, as hundreds collected to hear them. The event was held late afternoon at the Sabarmati T Point — the flashpoint for the violence.
Former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee, Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav, CPI-ML (Liberation) leader Kavita Krishnan and others spoke at the event.
In his speech, Kumar hit out at Home Minister Amit Shah for referring to slogans of the ‘tukde tukde gang in JNU’ at an event in the capital on Monday. “When Delhi elections are coming, once again they are remembering the slogans of JNU. You cannot ask for votes on the basis of your work, so you are shifting focus to JNU ki badnaami. You don’t have a chief ministerial face, so you are photoshopping a mask on the JNUSU president’s face and circulating the image. So that you can tell the people of Delhi that your peace is being disrupted by universities like JNU and Jamia,” he said, to applause.
Earlier in the afternoon, a march of about 150 alumni — led by CPM leaders and former JNUSU presidents Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat — was stopped just outside the main gate with heavy barricading.
Author and theatre person Shamsul Islam shouted at the police, “Where were all these barricades that day when the goondas entered campus?”
Prabir Purkayastha, a JNU alumnus who had gone to jail during the Emergency for a year, said, “It’s shameful that this is happening to an institute in which India’s leaders have studied. It’s even sadder that the V-C has nothing to contribute to peace but continues to target students.”
At the event, Yogendra Yadav said, “Police was protecting those who were attacking students… If at all they were half serious about restoring peace on campus, even if they only got to know at 6.30 or 7.45 pm — both lies — how is it that Delhi Police could not pick out one person from the 100 roaming inside campus?”
Mukherjee asserted that she was there as a representative of her party: “I want to assure you that INC is with you. Sonia Gandhi has instituted a fact-finding team because we want to know and we are going to find out what happened.”
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