February 2016 News

Afzal Guru Event Row: JNU Student President Sent To 3-day Police Custody

12 February 2016
Kashmir Reader

New Delhi: JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested in a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy for holding an anti-national event inside the university premises, was today remanded to three-day police custody by a Delhi court. Kanhaiya was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen where the police sought his custodial interrogation for five days to ascertain the alleged links of the accused persons, including those who are allegedly absconding, with terrorist groups. The police told the court that Kanhaiya was also required to be interrogated for the purpose of identification of other accused who were seen shouting 'anti-national' slogans during the event organised in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Campus on February 9. The police also placed on record a CD of the event which the judge played inside the court room on a computer. Kanhaiya told the court that he was neither shouting any slogan nor saying anything against integrity of the country and said he had rushed to the spot only to prevent a clash between ABVP workers and students organising the event. He claimed in the court that this was a politically- motivated case and he was being framed by the police as he had defeated the ABVP candidate in the presidential elections of the JNU students' union (JNUSU). He told the court that he did not endorse the slogans against India in any manner and has full faith in the Constitution of the country. 'I dissociate myself from the slogans which were shouted in the event. I have full faith in the Constitution of the country and I always say that Kashmir is an integral part of India,' Kanhaiya told the court. After the CD was played inside the court room, the judge asked Kanhaiya about the identity of the persons who were seen shouting slogans in favour of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged after being awarded death penalty by the court, and Pakistan. Responding to the court's query, the accused said he did not know all of them as they were outsiders but he can identify all the students who are from JNU. Left questions arrest of JNUSU president: Left parties today questioned the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and asked Delhi Police to not act in 'connivance' with ABVP to target 'entire Left' even as they likened the ongoing developments in the varsity campus to 'situations during Emergency'. The Communist parties also condemned raising of anti-India slogans by 'certain' elements and asked police to take action against those concerned in accordance with law, but not target members of students' wings of the Left front. 'As a political party, we condemn any anti-India slogan. If law enforcing authorities want to act against those elements, let them do it in accordance with law. But in the name of taking action against such elements, they should not target entire Left students' bodies,' CPI national secretary D Raja said. 'By targeting general students, they (ABVP) are creating a sense of terror in the campus. Delhi Police should not act in connivance with ABVP, targeting the entire Left,' he said. He said Kumar, besides being JNUSU president, is a member of All India Students' Federation (AISF) - students' wing of CPI - which, he added, has a 'glorious' history and had played key role in freedom movement. 'Where was the ABVP then (during freedom movement)? Kanhaiya is a JNUSU president, but he is also AISF leader. They (police) should know which organization they are dealing with,' he said. CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also expressed concerns over the developments and said the actions against students resembled to 'situations during Emergency'. 'What is happening in JNU? Police on campus, arrests and picking up students from hostels. This had last happened during Emergency,' he tweeted. Kanhaiya was arrested today in connection with a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy over holding of an event at the prestigious institute against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Anti-India acts won't be tolerated: Rajnath: Talking tough, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday warned of 'strongest possible' action against those involved in raising anti-India slogans at an event in JNU campus here, saying such activities will not be tolerated. 'If anyone raises anti-India slogans, tries to raise questions on country's unity and integrity, they will not be spared. Stringent action will be taken against them,' he told reporters here. The Minister said he asked the Delhi Police to take 'strongest possible action' against those who were allegedly involved in anti-India acts in Jawaharlal Nehru University campus recently. A group of students on Tuesday held an event on the JNU campus and allegedly shouted slogans against the government and the country over the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in 2013. The event occurred despite varsity administration claimed to have cancelled the permission following a complaint by ABVP members, who termed the activity as 'anti-national'. Delhi Police yesterday registered a case of sedition in connection with the event following complaints by BJP MP Maheish Girri and ABVP. Nation will not tolerate insult to mother India: Irani: Denouncing the protest march in JNU against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, HRD Minister Smriti Irani today said the nation will never tolerate 'insult' to mother India. 'I want to say this much, that today is the day of worship of Goddess Saraswati. Saraswati blesses every family that whatever they speak is for progress and strengthening the nation. Let mother India be praised. Nation will never tolerate insult to mother India,' she told reporters when asked about the incident at JNU. Earlier, while addressing the 'All India Principals Conference' where student recited Saraswati vandana, Irani said she felt satisfied that there are teachers who teach children to pray for the nation and 'not anti-India slogans'. The conference was organised by Vidya Bharati-Akhil Bhartiya Siksha Sansthan, an RSS-linked organisation working in the field of education. The controversy at JNU erupted earlier this week when some students had pasted posters across the campus inviting people to a protest march against 'judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt' and in solidarity with 'struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self- determination' at varsity's Sabarmati dhabi.