JNU: Anti-nationalist or Innocent?


Raising another controversy in the middle of the protests over the police action at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday claimed that the “JNU incident” was supported by Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed. “I also want to make it clear that the JNU incident has the support of LeT chief Hafiz Saeed. We should also understand this reality that Hafiz Saeed has supported this incident and it is extremely unfortunate,” said Singh, opposition parties said Singh should provide evidence to back his claim. “The charge is very serious… The Government of India will have to give foolproof evidence. A mere statement dubbing the students as anti-national and having the support of Hafiz Saeed or LeT or any other foreign organization, without any basis or proof, will prove disastrous for the government and the student fraternity across the country,” said Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad.

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Singh’s statement comes a day after the Delhi Police tweeted an “alert” quoting a purported tweet from Hafiz Saeed that supported the JNU protests. The tweet from the handle @HafeezSaeedJUD said: “We ask our Pakistani Brothers to trend #SupportJNU for our pro-Pakistani JNUites brothers.” The handle is now being said to be a fake one — a parody account which has been suspended several times in the past but resurfaced with alterations. “This is to alert & sensitise student community in JNU and across the country. Do not get carried away by such seditious and anti-national rhetoric. Abetment of any kind of anti-national activity is a punishable offence,” the Delhi Police had tweeted.

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For those who are not acquainted about what’s being said, this whole started when JNU students held a protest meeting on the third anniversary of the execution of Afzal Guru, a terrorist involved in 2001 Parliament attack. The protesting students and some outsiders shouted anti-India slogans and called Afzal Guru a martyr. The ABVP protested it, leading to a fight. The police were informed, following which they charged some unknown students with sedition. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has warned that no anti national activity will be tolerated. The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) distanced itself from the alleged “undemocratic slogans” and attacked ABVP for trying to malign the university’s democratic traditions. A day after JNU vice-chancellor M. Jagadeesh Kumar initiated a disciplinary inquiry into the incident, the campus saw protests by JNUSU and ABVP against each other. The JNUSU has two members from the Left-backed All India Students Association (AISA), one from All India Students Federation (AISF) and one from RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). ABVP also burnt effigies of JNU administration for their inaction in the incident even though the Left-backed groups accused the administration of acting on the behest of ABVP. The event on Tuesday was organised by a group of students some of who were formerly with the leftist Democratic Students’ Union. Delhi Police on Friday arrested JNUSU president. Delhi University professor SAR Geelani has also been booked for sedition after addressing an event at the Press Club in Delhi, condemning Afzal Guru’s hanging.



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