Following the arrest of JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar on Friday for holding an event at the institute against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, a group of professors have come out with a press statement on the issue.
Claiming that "the present situation on campus brings back memories of the emergency days," professors have urged the union government to resolve the issue.
The statement is signed by KN Panikkar, CP Bhambri, Anil Bhatti, Utsa Patnaik, Prabhat Patnaik, Zoya Hasan, Anjan Mukherji, Mridula Mukherjee, Aditya Mukherjee.
A case was registered on Thursday under Section of 124 A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC against unknown persons at Vasant Kunj (North) Police station following complaints by BJP MP Maheish Girri and ABVP.
A Firstpost report adds:
The arrest follows a JNU rally on Tuesday against the 2013 hanging of Mohammed Afzal Guru at which anti-India slogans were allegedly used. University teachers have criticised the arrest as "excessive police action". Afzal Guru was convicted over a 2001 plot to attack India's parliament. He had denied plotting the attack, which killed 14 people.
Here is the full text of the statement:
We the undersigned who have taught at the Jawaharlal Nehru University for long and have served as Deans of its various Schools at different times are shocked to hear that the President of the Students’ Union has been arrested on charges of sedition. As he belongs to the All India Students’ Federation, his views and political associations are well-known, and to accuse him of sedition is beyond the bounds of credibility. The only previous occasion when the President of the JNUSU had been arrested was during the Emergency of 1975-77, and the present situation on the campus brings back memories of the Emergency days. We urge the Union government to take immediate steps to prevent the intimidation of students and to ensure that the normal functioning of the University is not disrupted in any way.