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Attack in JNU campus: Fascists afraid of students, says Rahul Gandhi

Police stand guard inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi late on January 5, 2020.

Police stand guard inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi late on January 5, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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Universities should remain places of learning and education, says BJP.

Political parties across the spectrum condemned the violent attack on the students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday, with most of the Opposition leaders blaming the ruling dispensation for the violence.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted with the hash tag #SOSJNU.

“The brutal attack on JNU students & teachers by masked thugs, that has left many seriously injured, is shocking. The fascists in control of our nation, are afraid of the voices of our brave students. Today’s violence in JNU is a reflection of that fear,” Mr. Gandhi said on Twitter.

The BJP hit back at the Opposition and accused it of politicising campuses. “We strongly condemn the violence on JNU campus. This is a desperate attempt by forces of anarchy, who are determined to use students as cannon fodder, create unrest to shore up their shrinking political footprint. Universities should remain places of learning and education,” the BJP’s official handle tweeted.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who has been a former president of the JNU students’ union, alleged that the violence on the campus was part of the Hindutva agenda of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Live updates | ABVP attack inside JNU campus

‘Planned attack’

“Reports coming from JNU point to a collusion between the administration and goons of ABVP to inflict violence on students and teachers. It is a planned attack by those in power, which is afraid of the resistance provided by JNU to its Hindutva agenda,” Mr. Yechury tweeted.

“Masked attackers entered JNU while law enforcers stood by. This video is what RSS/BJP want to convert India to. They will not be allowed to succeed,” he added and tagged the video that showed the JNU Students Union president badly bleeding.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, both of whom were former JNU students, condemned the attack. “Horrifying images from JNU — the place I know & remember was one for fierce debates & opinions but never violence. I unequivocally condemn the events of today. This govt, regardless of what has been said the past few weeks, wants universities to be safe spaces for all students,” Ms. Sitharaman said.

“Have seen pictures of what is happening in #JNU. Condemn the violence unequivocally. This is completely against the tradition and culture of the university,” Mr. Jaishankar tweeted.

Former Union Minister P. Chidambaram questioned the role of the police in allowing the violence. “What we are seeing on live TV is shocking and horrifying. Masked men enter JNU hostels and attack students. What is the police doing? Where is the Police Commissioner? If it is happening on live TV, it is an act of impunity and can only happen with the support of the government. This is beyond belief,” said Mr. Chidambaram in a statement.

Condemning the attack, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said a Trinamool delegation will visit JNU to express solidarity with the students. “We strongly condemn brutality unleashed agst students/teachers in JNU. No words enough to describe such heinous acts. A shame on our democracy,” she said.

Former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav blamed the BJP for the violence. “Masked men attacking teachers and students in JNU shows the low to which the government will stoop in order to rule through fear. The ABVP are acting like the storm troopers of the BJP,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 8:33:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/attack-in-jnu-campus-fascists-afraid-of-students-says-rahul-gandhi/article30488997.ece

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