Referring to the use of medical analogy in the Delhi High Court judgment granting bail to Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, Supreme Court advocate Monika Arora Saturday said the issue was “not a cold or a cough, but cancer” and needed to be “surgically operated”.
Arora made the comments while speaking at a public meeting — on the ‘February 9 incident and Leftist propaganda’ — organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in JNU.
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Kumar had been arrested on charges of sedition over an event in JNU, held to mark the third death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, where “anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised.
Quoting from the judgment, Arora said, “Whenever some infection is spread in a limb, effort is made to cure the same by giving antibiotics orally and if that does not work, by following a second line of treatment. Sometimes, it may require surgical intervention also. However, if the infection results in infecting the limb to the extent that it becomes gangrene, amputation is the only treatment. To enable him to remain in the mainstream, at present I am inclined to provide conservative method of treatment”.
Addressing students who were “trying to analyse Afzal Guru’s conviction”, she urged them to analyse Kumar’s bail order as well. “I respect the court order, but I have to say, this is not a headache or a simple cold and cough. This is cancer, and if it is not surgically operated, it will spread all over,” she said.
Arora also said every citizen of the country knew the definition of sedition. “There is a major debate going on over what sedition is. Every citizen knows that. Desh ko gaali dena sedition hain, bharat ke tukde karne ki baat karna sedition hai (abusing your country is sedition, talking about dividing it into pieces is sedition),” she said.
“The judgment says clearly that whatever happened is sedition, sedition and only sedition. People are questioning how the slogans incited violence, but they had a spiralling effect, which we saw in Jadavpur University and even in Pampore,” she added.
Supporting Arora’s stand on sedition, Supreme Court lawyer Vikramjit Banerjee said, “When you say bandook se lenge azadi, it’s sedition. You are free to say anything against the government, but you can’t proclaim your desire to break the nation into pieces. If you do that, it’s sedition,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the ABVP told mediapersons that the organisation has decided to gherao the Vasant Kunj police station Monday, over the “delay” in arresting those who allegedly shouted “anti-India slogans” during the event on February 9. “What have the Delhi government and the police been doing for so long? Why have they not been able to identify and nab the students who raised slogans that day? We demand answers to these questions,” said ABVP member and JNUSU joint secretary Saurabh Sharma.
The ABVP, in a press statement, also attacked Kumar’s speech in campus Thursday night, during which he had said he would continue to fight for freedom from hunger and government interference.
“Azadi (freedom) from hunger or interference were not the slogans that were raised on campus, on February 9 or any other time … To borrow from Kanhaiya’s terminology, it’s a dhyan bhatkau prayas (an effort to distract),” said the organisation.
The ABVP has also demanded that Kumar bring a resolution in JNUSU to demand an apology from the 10 students who allegedly organised the event on February 9.