Justifying action against JNU and Hyderabad University students, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that if slogans are openly raised for persons who bombed Mumbai or attacked Parliament then one must expect some “ideological reaction” from those who do not agree with this. He was addressing students in a public lecture at the Melbourne university. 

He stressed that it was important to understand the incidents that took place in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the Hyderabad University. Referring to his days as a protester during the emergency, Jaitley said, “I had spent 19 months in jail and our commitment to freedom of speech is second to none.” 

b’File photo : Arun Jaitley | Source : AFP’

Taking a dig at Congress, he said those who are supporting the JNU protests today were the ones who supported emergency. 

Jaitley said apart from poverty, India was worst affected by terrorism. “You have an incident in 1993 where close to 300 people are killed and thousand injured…after long judicial process, trial after trial, one is found guilty,” he said, adding that, “celebration and support for that one man is organised in one campus that is Hyderabad.” 

b’Student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar (C) shouts slogans as he addresses students and activists at Jawahar Lal Nehru University | Source : AFP’

Citing the 2001 Parliament attack, Jaitley said even in this case, one man was found guilty and his supporters organised celebrations in JNU campus. Jaitley said, in the two cases, after due process of law and several appeals and acquittals two people were found guilty. 

JNU is caught in a row over an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti- national slogans were allegedly raised. 

With inputs from PTI