NewDelhi/Nagpur: Hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh called for taking action against ‘anti-national’ elements, the Delhi Police on Friday arrested the JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar.
The students’ union has been booked for sedition, even as protests were going on outside Delhi demanding action against the protesting students. The police have claimed that Kumar was seen in a video in which people were allegedly raising anti-national slogans.
He was arrested from a hostel on the JNU campus by police personnel in plain clothes.
On Friday, the police also booked Delhi University professor SAR Geelani for sedition and issued a summons to him, CNN-IBN reported.
Earlier, while addressing the ‘All India Principals Conference’ where students recited Saraswati vandana, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani said she felt satisfied that there are teachers who teach children to pray for the nation and “not anti-India slogans”.
The conference was organised by Vidya Bharati-Akhil Bhartiya Siksha Sansthan, an RSS-linked organisation working in the field of education.
The controversy at JNU erupted earlier this week when some students had pasted posters across the campus inviting people to a protest march against the “judicial killing of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt” and in solidarity with the “struggle of Kashmiri people for their democratic right to self-determination” at the varsity’s Sabarmati dhaba.
Members of ABVP objected to the event and wrote to the vice-chancellor that such protests should not be held on the campus of an educational institution, prompting the university administration to order the cancellation of the march as they “feared” it might “disrupt” peace.
The JNU administration has already instituted a “disciplinary” inquiry 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, the police action has drawn sharp reactions from across the political spectrum. While CPI(M)’s D Raja ‘strongly condemned’ the arrest of the JNU students’ union president, MoS home Kiren Rijiju said, “Those living in our country and still raising such slogans against it is not acceptable. We take such incidents very seriously.”
On Thursday, the Delhi Police had registered a case of sedition against “unknown persons” in connection with the event, following complaints by BJP MP Maheish Girri and the BJP’s student front ABVP.