JNU Row: Students, Journalists Attacked In Patiala House Court Premises

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6:37 pm 15 Feb, 2016

It looks like the escalating stand-off over the arrest of JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges not to die down soon. On February 15, a scuffle broke out in Patiala House court when Kumar was to be produced before a magistrate.

As per media reports, one person claiming to be a lawyer slapped a JNU student while three journalists were also attacked.

Chaotic scenes were witnessed in the court room. Lawyers were seen forcibly throwing JNU students out of the court room. Woman constables too were asked to enter the courtroom to ensure faculty of JNU were taken out of the premises.

Lawyers were heard shouting slogans like “Long Live India, Down with JNU.”

Teachers have already expressed their solidarity with the students over the issue but they have not joined the strike yet. Vice Chancellor M. Jagdeesh Kumar has appealed students not to take the path of strikes and protests so that the academic activities of the university do not get affected.

Talking to reporters, Kumar said that they too stand for free expression of ideas but believes that strikes are not necessary and issues can be resolved peacefully. He said that they are reaching out to the entire JNU community to see how the problem can be addressed.

Kumar said that the academic functioning of the university is of prime importance and should not be hampered.

JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) have raised objections over the VC allowing a police crackdown on campus.

According to Kumar, they never invited police to enter the campus and pick students of the university. He said they only provided whatever cooperation was needed as per the law of land .

The teachers of the university had on February 14 had rallied behind the protesting students and questioned the administration for allowing  police crackdown on the campus even as they appealed to the public not to “brand” the institution as “anti-national”.

Teachers’ bodies of 40 central universities and Pune-based FTII have also come out in support of the agitating students saying it is an issue of “indiscipline” and not “sedition”.

Delhi BJP MLA OP Sharma and few others were also caught on camera attacking a person outside the court premises. However, Sharma denied thrashing anyone.

Meanwhile, BJP President Amit Shah has slammed Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for extending support to JNU students who eulogised the 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

He asked Rahul Gandhi to make an apology for supporting “anti-national and separatists”.

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