Hardliner separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has threatened of a strong reaction in Kashmir if any action was taken against the students who organized an event for Afzal Guru, the parliament attack convict and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, in Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The 87-year-old leader said if India claims to be the largest democracy in the world then it should allow people to raise their voice for their birth rights. Geelani described the controversy over the event unnecessary and beyond the understanding of anyone.
They warned that “if the university authorities took any action against the Kashmiri students, this will not only negate the democratic claims of this country, but will also have very strong reaction in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Hurriyat spokesperson Ayaz Akbar said that it was not for the first time such event was organised in any educational institution, but Kashmiri students raise their voices against the oppression which Kashmir is facing for a long time.
Akbar claimed that the students of JNU “neither committed any act of violence nor indulged in any other immoral activity there.”
He said that they have just raised slogans against the secret hanging of Guru and in favour of freedom of Kashmir. The hue and cry by the university authorities, VHP, RSS and the media is totally unfair and unjustified.
Meanwhile, controversial lawmaker Abdul Rashid, known as Engineer Rashid, appreciated various student organisations for expressing solidarity with the “suppressed” people of J&K by raising their voice against the “judicial murder” of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat.
Rashid said there should be no doubt that those who raised the voice for the Kashmiris at JNU were patriotic Indians.
On the other side, former Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani has been booked for “sedition” in connection with an event at Press Club of India, in which a group shouted slogans hailing Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
DCP (New Delhi) JatinNarwal said that an FIR has been registered against Geelani and other unnamed persons under Sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC in connection with the event at the Press Club in which anti-India sloganeering took place.
According to the police they booked Geelani as they believe he was the main organiser of the event. “Request for booking a hall at press club was done through Geelani’s e-mail and the nature of the event was proposed to be a public meeting,” Narwal said.
In an other development, the ex-servicemen of National Defence Academy (NDA) have said that they are finding it difficult to be associated to the university and therefore they would return their degrees.
They have written a letter to the vice-chancellor of the university, ex-servicemen of the 54th NDA course said, “We the proud fraternity of ex-servicemen of the June 1978 Batch of National Defence Academy, who are proud recipient of the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts Degree from your esteemed University, are today constrained at the ongoing anti national activities on your university campus like celebration of Afzal Guru day, and consider it an affront to be equated with the present student fraternity of the university which is indulging in such anti national activities.”
General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist), Sitaram Yechury said that it should be proved that these incidents happened. He questioned that JNU has no cameras so where did the tape come from?. He demanded the immediate release Kanhaiya Kumar and investigation of the whole incident.
Earlier Yechury also tweeted and said that it looks like emergency is back to India.
What is happening in JNU? Police on campus, arrests and picking up students from hostels. This had last happened during Emergency.
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) February 12, 2016
Yechury said that the home minister has assured that no action will be taken against the innocent students.
“We told Home Minister that what is happening is worse than what happened during Emergency. He assured us that investigation won’t be carried out on any innocent person,” he told reporters after the meet.
“20 people who are being targeted, it should be proved that they are at fault,” he added..
The politics have started on this issue with both parties blaming each other. But some observers believe that huge hue and cry is also made to divert the attention from Rohith Vemula case, who hanged himself in a friend’s hostel room in Hyderabad University.