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Full Text: Former JNUSU president and deans protest against arrest of Student Union President over sedition row

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:39 IST
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  • We condemn in the strongest possible words the high-handed police action in JNU. This is reminiscent of the dark days of the emergency when the state had swooped down on the campus and had arrested many on false and trumped up charges,\" a statement by former president of JNUSU, DP Tripathi read.
  • Delhi Police on Friday arrested Jawaharlal Nehru University Students\' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar.

Amidst the ongoing controversy over anti-India slogans being raised at an event in the varsity against the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, the Delhi Police on Friday arrested Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union president, Kanhaiya Kumar.

The Delhi Police had earlier registered an FIR against some unknown persons on a complaint filed by the Press Club management against the event organisers.

Protesting against the move, seven Ex-Jawaharlal Nehru University deans issued a statement condemning the incident and equating the arrest with Emergency of 1975-77.

"We have taught at the Jawaharlal Nehru University for long and have served as Deans of its various Schools at different times, and are shocked to hear that the President of the Students' Union has been arrested on charges of sedition. As he belongs to the All India Students' Federation, his views and political associations are well-known, and to accuse him of sedition is beyond the bounds of credibility," their statement read.

This was signed by K.N. Panikkar, C.P. Bhambri, Anil Bhatti, Utsa Patnaik, Prabhat Patnaik, Zoya Hasan, Anjan Mukherji, Mridula Mukherjee and Aditya Mukherjee.

The statement also equated the current incident and arrests with the Emergency of 1975-77.

"The only previous occasion when the President of the JNUSU had been arrested was during the Emergency of 1975-77, and the present situation on the campus brings back memories of the Emergency days. We urge the Union government to take immediate steps to prevent the intimidation of students and to ensure that the normal functioning of the University is not disrupted in any way," the statement further read.

Here's how the case unfolded:

The complaint in this regard was filed at the Parliament Street Police Station.

The Delhi Police had earlier registered a case of sedition against the JNU students, who had agitated against Guru's hanging following complaints by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Maheish Girri and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members.

The arrests come after Home Minister Rajnath Singh and HRD Minister Smriti Irani sent out a stern message that no anti-national activity would be tolerated on campuses and stern action should be taken against them.

Read the full text of another letter issued by DP Tripathi, ex-President of JNUSU who was arrested during the emergency and others:

We condemn in the strongest possible words the high-handed police action in JNU. This is reminiscent of the dark days of the emergency when the state had swooped down on the campus and had arrested many on false and trumped up charges.

While we hold no brief for those who raised objectionable slogans, the arrested students have been charged with anti-national activities, precisely the charges on which we were also arrested during the draconian emergency.

We call upon the democratic forces and the entire community of students from institutes of higher learning from across the country to stand together and resist these continuing attacks on education and the spaces for debate and discussion.

Coming in the wake of the dastardly conspiracy of connivance and blatant discrimination that forced Rohit Vemula to take his own life, the storming of the hostels and the arrest of the president of JNUSU are signs of the imposition of an undeclared emergency that need to be opposed, confronted and defeated.

We are confident that the democratic and secular forces in the country will stand united and will ensure that the communal fascist forces do not succeed in their designs.

This letter was signed by DP Tripathi, Sohail Hashmi, Anil Chaudhary, Ramesh Dixit Ish Mishra, ND Jayaprakash and Probir Purkayastha.

Read: Sedition charges filed against JNU students in Afzal Guru protests

First published: 12 February 2016, 8:41 IST
 
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