Even as Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University simmers with allegations of anti-national statements made by its top student leader, the wave of protest against crackdown on students has reached Kolkata.
On Tuesday, a video emerged of Jadavpur University students chanting the very slogans that led to sedition charges against some JNU students – including union president Kanhaiya Kumar. According to Hindustan Times, the students were affiliated to various Left parties.
The video shows students taking out a torch rally inside the campus, chanting,” “Geelani bole azaadi, Afzal bole azaadi, jo tum na doge azaadi, toh chheen ke lenge azadi” (Geelani and Afzal demanded freedom. If freedom is denied, we will snatch it).
Not only that, the students also raised slogans in support of Ishrat Jahan – “Jo Ishrat ne Manga Azadi” – the alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist who was killed in an encounter in Gujarat in 2004. They also targetted Modi saying, “Modi ka Hindutva nahin sahenge, Modi ke Brahmangiri nahin sahenge.”
All India Students Association (AISA) leader Anumita Mitra, said the slogans only questioned the lack of transparency in Afzal Guru’s trial and his subsequent death penalty, as per Hindustan Times.
“If slogans protesting against the branding of scholars like Rohith Vemula as anti-national and terrorist by the Modi government for challenging cast exploitation are anti-national, then we are all anti-nationals,” Mitra, a student, told HT.
The West Bengal government is yet to respond to the controversy.