New Delhi :
JNU students union leader Kanhaiya Kumar and some journalists were yesterday attacked in a court complex here by rowdy lawyers. On Thursday, JNUSU President Kumar moved Supreme Court for bail. The hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow.
Despite instructions by the apex court to ensure security at the Patiala House Court, where violent men in black robes had attacked journalists on Monday, Delhi Police failed to prevent the attack on Kumar, who has been accused of sedition.
He was later safely taken to Tihar where he is kept in jail No. 3, same as Afzal Guru. Let us take a look at some of the top developments on Thursday i.e. February 18.
1. Kejriwal meets President
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday with his cabinet colleagues met President Pranab Mukherjee and discussed the law and order situation after the row over arrest of JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case.
Later speaking to reporters, Kejriwal said, "Is there a new law that you can hit someone and roam around freely? Government can't catch 4-5 students who made anti-national slogans, how will they catch people behind the Pathankot attack."
2. SC to hear Patiala House Court violence matter again tomorrow
The Supreme Court today asked people to be careful while issuing statements on the ongoing row over arrest of JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar under sedition charge and posted the hearing for tomorrow again.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi told media, "Patiala House court situation was handled well by us; Using force in court would've been counter-productive."
3. Students refuse to appear before JNU panel
JNU teachers have questioned the “scope” of the university probe panel inquiring into the raising of alleged anti-national slogans on campus and demanded that more members should be included into the high-level committee.
The members of the students council, who have been asked to appear before the committee, have also refused to participate in enquiry process citing “unjust” academic suspension of 8 students.
While the students are boycotting the classes demanding release of the JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, the teachers are divided over the disruption of classes.
The members of JNU students council were asked to appear before the probe panel for seeking “clarifications” regarding the February 9 incident.
4. Court attack: BJP MLA Sharma joins police probe
BJP MLA O P Sharma who was caught on camera beating a CPI activist at Patiala House court on Monday, joined the probe into the assault case today, a day after he was served summons by Delhi Police.
Sharma, a first-time MLA, presented himself before the Tilak Marg police station today.
The police had yesterday issued summons to him as well as three lawyers in connection with assault on journalists and JNU students and teachers at the court complex on Monday.
Delhi Police has been under attack for not taking action against those involved in the assault at the court complex on Monday and yesterday.
5. Rahul Gandhi discusses JNU row with President
Rahul Gandhi took the battle over the JNU row and the alleged targeting of students in various parts of the country to President Pranab Mukherjee.
Accompanied by senior leaders and also the young MPs of the party, the Congress Vice President highlighted the “lawlessness” in Delhi in the wake of Patiala House court attacks and the way the government has handled the JNU row as also the Rohith Vemula suicide and the agitation in FTII in Pune.
He was accompanied by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and several other party leaders and MPs.
Only yesterday, Congress had demanded immediate removal of Police Commissioner BS Bassi. Citing the attacks in Patiala House court here, Congress had yesterday alleged that “jungle raj” is prevailing in Delhi.
6. Reconsider decision of march: JNU VC
JNU Vice Chancellor Jagdesh Kumar has appealed to the students to reconsider their march to Jantar Mantar this afternoon in protest against arrest of their president in a sedition case, citing “safety” reasons.
“While we appreciate your right to protest, we are apprehensive of your safety outside the campus. We, therefore, appeal to you to reconsider your decision for undertaking the march outside the campus,” the VC said in an advisory issued to students.
The students and teachers of the varsity have decided to march from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar at 2:30 PM demanding release of JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested Friday last in a sedition case, in connection with an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, where anti-national slogans were alleged to have been raised.
JNU Students Union Vice President, Shehla Rashid Shora, who will be leading the march, had yesterday written to the VC informing him of the march and requesting him to ensure security arrangements.
The varsity’s Chief Security Officer had also sent a communication to police yesterday requesting the force to make adequate security arrangements for students during the march and till they are back in the campus.
7. 'There should be no 'Taliban culture' in India'
There should be no Taliban culture in India and the law should be allowed to take its course, say ABVP office-bearers who have resigned from the party in protest against the Centre’s handling of the raging row at JNU and “legitimising” actions of right wing fascist forces.
“JNU is the most nationalist institution in the country. I do not support the government’s stand over the issue. Let Supreme Court find Kanhaiya guilty and award him life imprisonment. But let the law take its course. There should be no ‘Taliban culture’ in India,” said Pradeep Narwal, former Joint Secretary of JNU unit of ABVP.
Pradeep Narwal, Joint Secretary of JNU unit of ABVP, Rahul Yadav, President of ABVP unit of JNU’s School of Social Sciences (SSS) and its Secretary Ankit Hans, had yesterday resigned from the BJP student wing, saying they “cannot be mouthpiece of such a government which has unleashed oppression on student community”.
“We are going to fight for JNU. If law find Kanhaiya guilty, let him be punished. If Umar Khalid is guilty he should be jailed. But do not attack the entire university, students and teachers. Let there be space for voices of dissent,” he added.
8. Shiv Sena hits out at Congress, SP
Amid the ongoing JNU row, the Shiv Sena today hit out at the Congress and SP, saying that the recent Assembly bypoll results in various states reflect that people have rejected the idea of politicians backing the students indulging in protests.
“After looking at the results of byelections, it is clear that the ‘tamasha’ (Congress Vice-President) Rahul Gandhi indulged in Jawaharlal Nehru University and Hyderabad Central University is unacceptable to the people,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
“Those (students) supporting Yakub Memon in Hyderabad University and Afzal Guru in Jawaharlal Nehru University are a threat to the nation. Those (politicians) supporting them (students) have lost in bypolls of seven states,” the ruling alliance partner said.
Notably, the BJP and its allies made gains in the Assembly bye-elections held recently, winning seven of the 12 seats in eight states as the party inflicted blows on ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and Congress in Karnataka.
Mocking the Samajwadi Party for losing 2 out of 3 seats in Uttar Pradesh, the Sena said people have started putting an end to caste-based politics, and pointed out that Muslim appeasement also did not help the SP.
“The results have laid bare the discontent of people towards the (Akhilesh) Yadav government. They had invited Pakistani artists to appease Muslim vote bank. But nothing, including the hate speeches, worked for the party. People have started putting an end to caste-based politics,” it said.
9. Kanhaiya's parents worried
The attack on JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar inside Patiala House court complex has left his parents “worried”, but they are showing “exemplary courage” at this difficult juncture and are confident he will come out clean, CPI said today.
CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said the party men are in “regular” touch with his parents who have shown confidence in the organization during this “crisis” hour.
Kanhaiya is a leader of All India Students’ Federation (AISF), students’ wing of CPI. His parents live in Bihat village of Bihar’s Begusarai district.
“One of our colleagues spoke to them (Kanhaiya’s parents) yesterday. Naturally, they are worried...yesterday there was an attack on him. But they are showing exemplary courage at this difficult moment. His parents said they have full confidence in the party,” Reddy told PTI.
The leader said Kanhaiya’s family is poor and can’t afford even a television set and they watch news on neighbour’s TV.
“His mother is an anganwadi worker. His father is suffering from partial paralytic stroke. I spoke to him the other day. They are courageous and they are confident that he will come out clean,” he added.
A group of lawyers had yesterday attacked Kanhaiya, arrested on sedition charges, while he was being produced at the court complex.
10. Know facts first, asserts Jaitley
Union minister Arun Jaitley today emphasised on the importance of knowing facts especially for journalists and politicians, saying that people can’t indefinitely live under the impression that they know most of the things.
He was speaking at the launch of India-2016, a book which contains wide ranging details from achievements of the government, its policies, programmes and other aspects related to development.
“I think the kind of detail that India 2016 carries is a must read for everyone particularly for journalists and politicians. It is very necessary. Because while we are in ignorance of large number of facts which are contained here, we can’t indefinitely live under the impression that we know most of the things. Because once we go through the book, you would realise how much we don’t know,” he said.