NEW DELHI(PTI): The escalating stand-off over the arrest of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges today saw the students going on strike till he is released.
JNU teachers and students form a human chain inside the campus to protest the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. Photo: PTI
While the teachers yesterday extended solidarity with the students over the issue, they have not joined the strike yet. Kanhaiya, who was sent to three-days police custody, will be produced in court today.
Vice-Chancellor Jadesh Kumar appealed to the students to not resort to strikes and protests so that academic functioning of the university is not hampered.
“We also stand for free expression of ideas but I believe there is no need for strikes as the problem can be solved amicably. We are reaching out to the entire JNU community to see how the problem can be addressed but academic functioning of the university is of prime importance and should not be hampered,” he told reporters.
While the teachers association of the university have raised questions over the V-C allowing a police crackdown on campus, Mr. Kumar said he was bound with the ‘law of land.’
“I never invited the police to enter the campus and pick our students. We only provided whatever cooperation was needed as per the law of land. We were bound to do so,” he added.
JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested last week in connection with a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy registered over holding of the event at the varsity during which anti-India slogans were alleged to have been raised.
His arrest has triggered widespread outrage among students and teachers and drawn severe criticism from non-BJP political parties. The university teachers had yesterday rallied behind its protesting students and questioned the administration’s decision to allow the police crackdown on the campus even as they appealed to the public not to “brand” the institution as “anti-national.”
Shiv Sena retorts
Taking an aggressive stand on the turmoil at JNU, Shiv Sena today said all politicians who support the students’ agitation should be stripped off their ’elected status’ and those raising slogans against India put behind bars. Citing the example of cricketer Virat Kohli’s Pakistani fan being declared an “anti-national” by the neighboring country for waving an Indian flag, the Sena said all those sloganeering against India should be declared “anti-nationals.”