If it was hanging of Yakub Memon that led to protests at University of Hyderabad, it was the issue of Afzal Guru’s hanging that led to a showdown between students’ union and ABVP at the JNU. Here’s the issue in details:
Some students pasted posters across the JNU campus inviting people to a protest against ‘judicial killing of Afzal Guru’, triggering a row.
ABVP up in arms
Members of ABVP objected to the event and wrote to the V-C that such kind of protests should not be held on the campus, prompting the university administration to order cancellation of the march.
Admin steps in
The JNU administration already instituted a “disciplinary” inquiry as to how the event took place despite withdrawal of permission and said it will wait for the probe report before taking any further action.
However, Delhi Police registered a case of sedition against “unknown persons” in connection with the event, following complaints by BJP MP Maheish Girri and BJP’s student front ABVP.
Student leader arrested
On February 12, JNU Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested in a sedition case over the Afzal Guru event.
Issue takes political colour
Kumar’s arrest sparked a massive outrage among students and criticism from non-BJP parties which dubbed it as an “emergency-like” situation.
Asserting that JNU cannot be allowed to be a “hub of anti-national activities”, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said freedom of expression cannot be “absolute and unqualified and reasonable restriction” has to be there.
Comparisons with Rohith issue
Politicians were quick to draw a parallel between the JNU row and Rohith Vemula suicide issues, accusing the NDA government of suppressing freedom of expression.
A batch of ex-servicemen, alumni of the university, threatened to return their degrees as they found it “difficult” to be associated with an institution that has become a “hub of anti-national activities”.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using police to “terrorise everyone” even as he asserted that anti-national activities should not be tolerated under any circumstances.