Published On : Fri, Mar 4th, 2016

Afzal Guru is not my icon, Rohith Vemula is: Kanhaiya Kumar

Kanhaiya Kumar

File pic

New Delhi/Nagpur: Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ union leader Kanhaiya Kumar today said that no students of the university can be anti-national. Addressing the students in JNU campus, Kanhaiya also said that the taxpayers’ money is absolutely safe.

“I want to thank all who supported me, and want to assure tax-payer that a JNU student can never be anti-national,” Kanhaiya said.

He also urged the govrnment to not press serious charges like sedition against students as it can ruin their future. “We strongly condemn what happened on (February) 9th. It’s for court to decide if that was ‘raaj droh’ or not. But I urge the government not to use serious charge of sedition to ruin future of student,” Kanhaiya said.

Countering the attacks on JNU students for organizing an event last month where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, Kanhaiya today said, “We understand the meaning of freedom of speech, we understand the meaning of freedom.”

Kanhaiya steered clear of the controversy around Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru when asked if slogans were raised against his hanging in the February 9 event. “If you ask me, Afzal Guru is not my icon, Rohith Vemula is,” Kanhaiya said.

Kanhaiya walked out of Tihar jail on Thursday to a rapturous welcome, three weeks after his arrest on sedition charges that unleashed widespread outrage with a combined opposition mounting a spirited attack on government accusing it of crushing dissent.

The release of Kanhaiya, 29, came even as a Delhi government-appointed magisterial probe did not find any evidence of him raising anti-India slogans at the February 9 event.

The report said “nothing adverse” could be found against Kanhaiya and that no witness or video was available to support allegations against the JNU students union president.

Kanhaiya, a PhD student, was released from the prison at 6:30 pm and accorded a spirited welcome by a group of students and teachers on being handed over to them.

After his release, Kanhaiya maintained that he never raised any anti-India slogans, asserting truth will prevail.

Kanhaiya was arrested on February 12 in connection with the event. He was granted interim bail for six months by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday on condition that he will cooperate in the ongoing investigation.