NEW DELHI -- The Patiala House Court on Monday extended the custody of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar by two days.
On Friday, Kumar was slapped with sedition charges for allegedly raising anti-India slogans at a meeting to protest the the hanging of Afzal Guru, who was convicted for masterminding the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, and executed in 2013.
The court premises and surrounding areas were volatile throughout the day of Kumar’s hearing.
Earlier today, violence broke out at the court premises when JNU teachers, students and journalists were attacked by a group of lawyers who appeared to be BJP supporters, NDTV reported.
While a BJP MLA from Delhi and his supporters thrashed a CPI man for allegedly shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans, a group of men, dressed as lawyers, shouting nationalistic slogans, had assaulted members of the media and faculty from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in the court premises before Kumar was brought in.
The man, who was assaulted by O.P. Sharma and his associates was identified as CPI's Ameeque Jamai, ANI reported.
Man beaten up by BJP MLA OP Sharma and his supporters identified as Ameeque Jamai of Communist Party of India (CPI)— ANI (@ANI_news) February 15, 2016
The group of lawyers, apparently BJP supporters, warned the students, teachers and the media to immediately leave the court to avoid being harmed, according to an NDTV reporter at the venue. When they refused to leave, the lawyers allegedly started assaulting them, NDTV reported.
An NDTV clip showed a group of men in black coats beating up a person at the premises. The NDTV reporter claimed the police did not make any attempt to intervene. The lawyers allegedly blamed the media for the coverage of the "anti-national activities" at JNU. Soon, the social media started reacting to the incident with people tweeting about the event under the hashtag 'saffron emergency,' criticising the attack on students, faculty and the media.
An ANI report claimed Delhi BJP MLA OP Sharma and his supporters allegedly beat up an unidentified man outside the court.
Delhi BJP MLA OP Sharma and his supporters beat up an unidentified man outside Patiala House courthttps://t.co/PFv8ku45kV— ANI (@ANI_news) February 15, 2016
Earlier, Delhi police commissioner BS Bassi met union home minister Rajnath Singh even as protests continued to rage in JNU despite its vice chancellor's appeal for calm in the campus. The campus has been on the boil ever since the arrest of Kumar.
The political war of words only got shriller on Monday as two days after he met Singh, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, who allegedly received threat calls for supporting the students protesting the arrest of Kumar, attacked the BJP saying people who support Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse should not be preaching nationalism. According to party sources, the party head office received three threat calls between 10:30 and 1:00 last night.
Meanwhile, reacting to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's visit to the troubled campus declaring his support to the protesting students, BJP president Amit Shah lashed out against Congress on his blog. He blamed Gandhi of supporting 'anti-national' activities by backing the students at JNU who are protesting against the arrest of JNU student union president.
In his blog titled ‘Is this Congress’s new definition of nationalism?’, Shah questioned the Congress party’s intent on why it was ‘supporting and encouraging’ the events that happened in the varsity. Shah also claimed that the BJP did not need to learn nationalism from a party which has ‘Hitlerism’ in its DNA.
A couple of days ago, the commissioner's office had also urged students across the country, including those from JNU, to not get carried away by 'seditious anti-national rhetoric'.
"Abetment of any kind of anti-national activity is a punishable offence," he said.
Backing the central government's move to slap sedition charges against Kumar, commissioner Bassi reportedly said that initial inquiry suggests that he was involved in anti-India activities.
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