Delhi Police on Thursday, registered a case of sedition in connection with an event at JNU against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru following complaints by BJP MP Maheish Girri and RSS’s student front ABVP. Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said an FIR under Section of 124 A of IPC (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) has been registered against unknown persons at Vasant Kunj (North) Police station and the video footage of the event was being examined for further action.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also took a tough stand against the controversy and warned of strict action.
Whatever has happened in JNU is extremely unfortunate. I have instructed Delhi CP to take strong action against the anti-India elements— Rajnath Singh (@BJPRajnathSingh) February 12, 2016
If anyone shouts anti India slogan & challenges nation’s sovereignty & integrity while living in India, they will not be tolerated or spared— Rajnath Singh (@BJPRajnathSingh) February 12, 2016
Marking the death anniversary of Guru, a group of students on Tuesday held an event on the campus and shouted slogans against government for hanging him, despite varsity administration having cancelled the permission following a complaint by ABVP members, who termed the activity as ‘anti-national’.
The JNU administration has already instituted a ‘disciplinary’ enquiry as to how the event took place despite withdrawal of permission and said it will wait for the probe report before taking any further action. Meanwhile, Girri has written to the JNU Vice Chancellor as well as the HRD Ministry seeking action against the organisers and participants of the Tuesday event. He also filed a complaint with the police on Thursday. ABVP members had already filed a police complaint on Wednesday and submitted a purported video of the event showing the organsiers shouting slogans calling Guru a “martyr” and clashing with the protesters, to both police and the VC.
Earlier in the day, the left-dominated JNU students union distanced itself from the controversy, saying ABVP was opposed to it and not the union. Of the four top posts of the union, three are held by Leftist AISA and AISF and one by ABVP. The Left leaders of the union also termed the ABVP complaint as an attempt to curb the ‘democratic traditions’ of the university. There were protests on the campus for the second day today with slogan shouting by the two groups.
Meanwhile, BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma has condemned the event, saying there were a handful of people who were trying to ‘pollute the atmosphere’ in JNU. “Slogans against India were raised and a terrorist was called a martyr. This is unfortunate and BJP condemns it in strongest terms. We hope that the university administration will take strong action against such people,” Sharma added.
The controversy at JNU erupted earlier this week when some students had pasted posters across the campus inviting people to a protest march against ‘judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt’ and in solidarity with ‘struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self determination’ at varsity’s Sabarmati dhaba. Members of the ABVP objected to the event and wrote to the Vice Chancellor that such kind protest should not be held on campus of an educational institution, prompting the university administration to order cancellation of the march as they “feared” it might “disrupt” peace.