BJP Taking India Back To Emergency Times, Curbing Students' Voices, Say Left, Congress

13/02/2016 11:04 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) AISA`s candidates Shehla Rashid Shora, Vice President, Rama Naga, General Secretary and AISFs Kanhaiya Kumar elected as President, pose during a photo call, at Jawaharlal Nehru University, on September 13, 2015 in New Delhi, India. RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) won a seat in Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) polls after 14 years. ABVP outshone its opponents by huge margins and swept the Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) elections this year despite predictions of a tough four-corner fight. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Condemning JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar's arrest, Left parties today attacked the Centre saying it is reducing India to an "Emergency state" after the police conducted "indiscriminate" raids at hostels in the varsity campus allegedly targeting members of Left-backed students bodies.

Launching a scathing attack on NDA government, Left parties demanded immediate release of Kumar and other leaders of Left-backed outfits and a stop to "illegal and uncalled for action by Delhi Police", reported PTI.

The parties said they will take up the issue with Union Home Ministry and also during budget session of Parliament.

"The question is do you know who raised the slogans? Take action according to law against them. When you don't know, then how are you arresting all the student leaders? ...Male police are going and raiding girls' hostels. Only during the Emergency we saw this happen. That is the sort of Emergency state they are reducing our country to again. This time it is the BJP," CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in Kolkata.


Posted by CPIM on Friday, 12 February 2016

Yechury claimed the FIR against Kumar and others does not contain any name and sought to know on what basis the alleged raid was conducted "in the name of anti-national activities".

The Indian National Congress also lambasted the BJP over handling of the JNU controversy, accusing it of "curbing" students' voice but asserted that debates on campuses cannot be hijacked by anti-India sentiments.

Claiming a pattern in the government's role in the issues concerning FTII, IIT Madras, Hyderabad Central University (HCU), it asked BJP to stop branding JNU as anti-national and raised questions over the NDA dispensation's "capacity to tolerate a different point of view".

Congress communication department chief Randeep Surjewala tweeted:

Former Law Minister Kapil Sibal demanded similar action against the BJP MPs, who give such anti-national statements.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi attacked the Modi government saying that "bullying" an institution like JNU was "completely condemnable", but at the same time asserted that anti-India sentiment is "unquestionably unacceptable".

Another party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, a noted lawyer, alleged that not only workers but MLAs, MPs and Ministers of BJP have made "similar shocking divisive anti-national statements".

He, however, caveated his response saying if anybody has committed any crime under the Indian Penal Code, action has to be taken against him.

"Congress is in the front row wherever there is an issue of implementing law. We cannot support any anti-national act. If any particular person has done something like this, action will be taken but you cannot brand an entire institution anti- national and try to demolish all other student bodies on the complaint of ABVP," he told PTI.

Asserting that a context would be seen if it happens immediately after HCU, Singhvi said the issue is about the "capacity to tolerate a different point of view".

"What has been done is an attempt to paint the entire University anti-national," he said.

A group of students on Tuesday held an event on the JNU campus and allegedly shouted slogans against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in 2013.

JNU students union president Kanhaiya was arrested on Friday in connection with a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy over holding of an event at the prestigious institute against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

(With inputs from agencies)

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