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.
JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar sent to 3-day police custody pic.twitter.com/yy0SWxipkG— ANI (@ANI_news) February 12, 2016
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.
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:
Debate & discussion is essence of our democracy but it can't be hijacked by anti-India sentiments,whether on University campus or outside1/2— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) February 12, 2016
2/3Take action against those guilty but isn't BJP using Delhi Police for it's anti JNU tirade. Proud of JNU,Stop branding it anti-National.— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) February 12, 2016
FTII, IIT Madras, Hyderabad University proves BJP curbing students voice. Is police action in JNU a desparate attempt to perpetuate it?— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) February 12, 2016
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".
While Anti-India sentiment is unquestionably unacceptable, the right to dissent & debate is an essential ingredient of democracy (1/2)— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 12, 2016
Modi Govt & ABVP bullying an institution like JNU simply because it won't toe their line is completely condemnable (2/2)— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 12, 2016
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)
Also On HuffPost: