Condemning JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest, Left parties today attacked the Centre saying it is reducing India to an “Emergency State” after the police conducted “indiscriminate” raids at hostels in the varsity campus allegedly targeting members of Left-backed students bodies.
Launching a scathing attack on NDA government, Left parties demanded immediate release of Kumar and other leaders of Left-backed outfits and a stop to “illegal and uncalled for action by Delhi Police”.
The parties said they will take up the issue with Union Home Ministry and also during budget session of Parliament.
“The question is do you know who raised the slogans? Take action according to law against them. When you don’t know, then how are you arresting all the student leaders?
“…male police are going and raiding girls’ hostels. Only during the Emergency we saw this happen. That is the sort of Emergency State they are reducing our country to again. This time it is the BJP,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in Kolkata.
Yechury claimed the FIR against Kumar and others does not contain any name and sought to know on what basis the alleged raid was conducted “in the name of anti-national activities”.
In its Facebook post, the CPI(M) accused Modi government of resorting to “totally dictatorial” measures to “crush” Left-backed students’ organisations and promote pro-RSS organisation in campuses “as was done” in Hyderabad Central University, which the party said, was “shameful”.
It also targeted Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying it was “shameful” for him to intervene in the matter “directly”.
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. Deploring the police action, CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy insisted that police first “ascertain facts” and demanded “immediate” release of Kumar and others.
“CPI demands the immediate release of Kumar and other leaders and withdraw police from university campus,” he said.
Meanwhile, party national secretary D Raja visited the campus to express solidarity with agitating students and also met Vice Chancellor Jagdeesh Kumar and registrar Bhuprendra Zutshi in this regard.
Addressing the protesters there, Raja said the CPI will take up the issue with the Home Ministry and also during upcoming budget session of Parliament.
“The Vice Chancellor has assured us that he will see how interests of students can be protected,” Raja said.
The CPI(M) Politburo has demanded immediate release of JNU students who have been arrested and ordering of an independent inquiry.
“We strongly condemn the indiscriminate arrests of Left and progressive student leaders from JNU campus. We demand immediate release of those who have been arrested and ordering of a proper independent inquiry under the due process. The university authority must also stop such illegal and uncalled for action by Delhi Police,” the CPI(M) politburo said in a statement.
“An isolated incident, which does not reflect the opinion of the vast majority of the students, is now being blatantly used as an excuse to clamp down on the progressive and democratic student movement. This has been a long harboured design of the RSS and its camp followers.
“This anti-democratic authoritarian attack on JNU campus, seen in the light of state sponsored efforts by the BJP central government to silence dissent in premier educational institutions, has serious implications,” the statement said.
It noted that for nearly half a century the student movement in JNU has had the “impeccable record of upholding the unity and integrity of the country and rising in protests against any expression of anti-national terrorist activities.” Earlier in the day, Raja had said that CPI was not opposed to taking action against elements who raised “anti-India” slogans in the varsity campus, but insisted Left-backed students’ bodies must not be targeted while taking action in “connivance with ABVP”, the BJP-backed student outfit.
“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.
The Rajya Sabha MP 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 a key role in the 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 organisation they are dealing with,” he said.