JNU divided over Rajnath Singh’s comment, VC appeals to resume classes



Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)  vice-chancellor M Jagdeesh Kumar on 15 February said focus should be on academics instead of strikes and classes should resume without delay.

Instead of taking up violence, the VC appealed to the students that “their doors were wide open for discussion. I don’t see any need for organising strikes,” he said while addressing the media.

Home minister Rajnath Singh’s off-the-cuff comment that the JNU stir received tacit support from Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Saeed has made the students restless and angry. Also these remarks were fodder for the opposition parties. Questioning how the minister could say so, CPM leader Prakash Karat has said, “We received a threat call for which the party has filed a police complaint.” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said, “It is a serious charge (by Singh) against the students. Singh should share evidence with us.” CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D Raja also demanded Singh to come out with the intelligence inputs at his disposal.

Singh said the JNU incident has received Saeed’s support; this the nations needs to understand. What has happened is unfortunate. Nothing should be done that puts a black mark on India’s sovereignty and integrity, he said.

At present, there are two opinions between the university students. The issue that has angered the students was the way the police barged into the university to arrest JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiyya Kumar for mouthing pro-Afzal slogans in a sedition case.

Nandita Narain, Federation of Central University Teachers’ Association, president said teachers’ bodies of 40 central universities, including Hyderabad University, supported the students’ stir in JNU.

Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, also expressed solidarity with JNU protestors and accused the government of harassing and threatening those who oppose them. “The students are against the government and not the Constitution. The police action against the students on the pretext of national security is completely unwarranted,” said Narain .

While this was so, the Delhi Police, which wants to transfer the sedition case to a special cell, has made the youth vigilant and to stay away from anti-India posts. In this regard, the police have issued an alert through the official Twitter handle of the commissioner’s office. Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said, “We have highlighted Saeed’s tweet in a bid to educate the youth to stay away such posts not embrace them.”