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Govt. acts tough, JNU student leader charged with sedition

UP IN ARMS:Students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University protest on the campus on Friday night against the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.— PHOTO: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

UP IN ARMS:Students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University protest on the campus on Friday night against the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.— PHOTO: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT  

Arrest follows pro-Afzal slogans on campus

As the Centre hardened its position, a Delhi court on Friday remanded Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar in three-day police custody. He was arrested on the charge of sedition, after “anti-India” slogans were allegedly raised at the university during a recent protest meeting in memory of Afzal Guru, hanged in 2013 after his conviction in the Parliament attack case.

A case of sedition against several unknown students was lodged at Vasant Kunj (North) police station on Thursday. It was registered under IPC Sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (acts done by several persons with a common intention). Five more persons are absconding in the case.

The university also initiated action, barring eight students from academic activity pending an enquiry, though they would be allowed to stay as guests in the hostels.

The police struck after the videos of the protest went viral. Home Minister Rajnath Singh talked to Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi on Thursday night and Friday morning.

On Friday, Mr. Singh gave a statement while boarding a flight to Gorakhpur: “If anyone raises anti-India slogans, tries to raise questions on the country’s unity and integrity, they will not be spared.” The JNUSU president was promptly arrested. Students gathered at the university to protest. Counter-protests against “anti-national activities” took place outside the university gate. However, a day before the police action, the JNUSU had said it had nothing to do with the protest, organised by a group of students, and disapproved of their slogans. Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani echoed Mr. Singh, asserting that “the nation will not tolerate an ‘insult’ to Mother India.”

( With inputs from

Shiv Sunny & Kritika Sharma Sebastian )



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