Amid the raging JNU row, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday asserted that the guilty “will not be spared” as Left leaders met him questioning police action against students including the arrest of the student union leader.
“No question of harassment of students. But the guilty will not be spared,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Delhi.
The home minister’s statement came after a delegation of Left and JD(U) leaders met him demanding release of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar who was arrested on Friday on charges of sedition in connection with an event organised on the campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
Kanhaiya is member of the CPI’s student wing All India Student Federation.
Singh warned of the “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 the country’s unity and integrity, they will not be spared. Stringent action will be taken against them,” he said on Friday.
After meeting the home minister, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who was joined by CPI national secretary D Raja and JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi, alleged that the new vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University was acting on the instructions of the government and allowed the police to go ahead with a “crackdown”.
“This is happening across all universities that VCs are being removed and the government is appointing persons who are then acting on their instructions,” Yechury said.
However, commissioner BS Bassi assured that the Delhi Police would act without extraneous pressure. “No innocent shall suffer. DP is firmly committed to the rule of law and does not entertain any malice towards anyone,” he said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, the parents of the arrested students’ union leader maintained that their son was not anti-national and was being victimised for his opposition to Hindutva politics.
“My son is not anti-national. There is no question of his following an ideology of anti-nationalism. He is a nationalist like hundreds of thousands of youths of his age,” Kanhaiya Kumar’s father Jaishankar Singh, who is suffering from paralysis, said on Saturday.
“We are proud of his Left ideology. There is nothing wrong in it. He has been fighting against Right wing politics and now being targeted for it,” said Kanhaiya’s mother Meena Devi.
His parents live in Maslanpur village of Bihar’s Begusarai district, considered a stronghold of Left wing or communist politics in the state.
Nonetheless, ex-servicemen who are alumni of JNU threatened to return their degrees, saying they “find it difficult” to be associated with an institution that has become a “hub of anti-national activities”.
“We are constrained at the ongoing anti-national activities on the university campus like celebration of Afzal Guru day and consider it an affront to be equated with the present student fraternity of the university which is indulging in such anti-national activities,” the ex-servicemen of 54th NDA course said in a letter to JNU vice-chancellor Jagdeesh Kumar.
“We feel that present activities in JNU campus negate the sacrifices made by past degree holders of the university and would therefore want to return our prized and well earned degrees to your institution if such activities are allowed to be conducted inside the university campus,” it added.