Pointing out that there is a threat to the life of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad Saturday wrote to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, demanding that adequate security be provided to him so that “he does not become target of anti-social elements and those hell-bent to muzzle the alternative opinion”. The CPI, too, demanded a probe into threats to Kumar’s life.
“Posters have cropped up at various places in New Delhi declaring cash reward of Rs 11 lakh for the head of Kanhaiya Kumar. Similarly, one Kuldeep Varshney, supposedly an activist of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha from Badaun, UP, has on a television channel announced a cash reward of Rs 45 lakh for anyone slitting the tongue of Kumar,” he said.
Azad demanded that “stringent action” be taken against those responsible for issuing such threats “without caring for the law of the land”.
He pointed out that Kumar had already been “openly and brutally assaulted” within the precincts of Patiala House Courts by a “mob of hooligans”. The culprits, he said, even appeared on electronic and social media glorifying their acts.
“These are very serious developments and do not portend well for the health of our democracy. Dissent and difference of opinion are the soul of democracy and have to be seen above partisan politics. We cannot afford to belittle our democracy that has been set up by our founding fathers after offering countless sacrifices,” Azad said.
“As a matter of fact, I would sincerely urge you to please take serious note of the recent trend advocating use of violence, intimidation and coercion as a tool to take on political adversaries. This will silently asphyxiate the soul of our democratic polity and shatter our image as largest democracy of the world,” he said.
The CPI, meanwhile, said in a statement: “The Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of India expresses its serious concern over posters appearing in some places in the national capital offering Rs 11 lakh to anybody who will shoot down Kanhaiya Kumar. A statement is also going around saying that Rs 5 lakh will be given to anybody who will cut his tongue. The party feels that ABVP is behind such moves. We urge upon the government to conduct a thorough probe into the incident and take stringent action against the culprits.”
Kumar is a member of CPI’s student wing AISF.