The students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University have overwhelmingly supported the return of seven absconding students on the campus grounds. They are all facing charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy for organizing an event on the hanging anniversary of 2001 parliament attack convict on February 9.
The students - Ashustosh, Anant, Rama Naga, Umar Khalid, Anirban, Rubina and Reyaz - arrived on the campus late on Sunday night and addressed the protesting students near university's administration block.
According to them, the decision to remain underground was taken due to the fear of a "mob-lynching" atmosphere created after the arrest of JNSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.
Here are some reactions.
Shreya, a JNU student told ScoopWhoop.
"I think they have done the right thing by surfacing on the campus. However, it is now upon the University administration to handle the matter at its own level rather than allowing police on the campus."
Mithalesh Priyadarshy, A Media scholar at JNU
"It seems the university administration has taken a lesson from the way Jadavpur University didn't allow police on the campus. The university administration has to side with the students. I think all the accused underground students have done the right thing by coming out in open because with the kind of malicious campaigning against them, it was working against their favour due to absence. It's an opportune time for the students to present their side of the story and refute the tags of anti-nationals and terrorists."
Rajan Pandey, a Phd scholar and former member of All India Students Association (AISA).
"In my view, the students are now on moral high ground and have been successful in making people realize the dangerous ideological project of BJP at work. But instead of confrontation, the students should surrender before the police in presence of teachers and students on the assurance that they don't become victims of mob frenzy that we witnessed in Patiala High Court. The logical course is to face the law and avoid confrontation. It will reaffirm the moral high ground of students who are waging a larger struggle against those forces who are taking India towards a dangerous path by their world view. "
Another JNU student, wishing anonymity told ScoopWhoop.
"It was bound to happen as sooner or later, the police would have nabbed them. This is right decision. The decision to come up together will also diffuse the propaganda campaign against particular students. In a way, I also see it as a balancing act since it was only from the media's side that various theories and allegations against the underground students were fed to people on their television screens. This is the only way to present their point of view and show the reality to the world."
Meanwhile, the JNU students who surfaced on Sunday night on the campus since the controversy about February 9 event, are camping near the administration building of the campus. However, the university's security has created a human perimeter around the students and are not allowing media to talk to them.
Sources say the decision to abstain from talking to media has been taken on the advice of legal team that will represent the students in the court.
On Monday morning, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) and JNU Students' Union stressed on the university administration to take cue from Jhadavpur University VC who didn't allow the police to crackdown on campus.
They also demanded the restructuring of the inquiry committee constituted by the administration to inquire the allegations of 'anti-national' event on the university campus on February 9.
A meeting between JNUSU and university administration to discuss the matter is expected to take place in the evening.