Stepping up their protest against arrest of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and two others in a sedition case, the students will march to Parliament on Wednesday demanding the release of those jailed in the case.
“We are going to hold a solidarity march to Parliament to protest the stifling of dissent in JNU, Hyderabad university and elsewhere through sedition charges,” JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid Shora said.
The protest march which will be joined by academicians and students from various universities across Delhi, will begin from Mandi House area at 2pm.
“We want to take up our issues with the PMO, MHRD and the home minister. We will also be approaching the NHRC and the Minority Commission to register our concerns at the functioning of the Delhi Police and the continuing threats of physical violence against Kanhaiya, Umar and Anirban,” she added.
The students have been agitating on campus ever since Kanhaiya was arrested in a sedition case in connection with an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
Following Kanhaiya’s arrest- five students who were being searched by police in the case- Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Ashutosh Kumar, Anant Prakash and Rama Naga- had gone into hiding fearing “mob-lynching”.
They resurfaced back on campus 10 days later. While Umar and Anirban surrendered before the police, the remaining three refused to do so but maintained that they are open to questioning by police as and when needed.
“Our major demands include release of the three students, revoking sedition charges and the varsity suspension order,” Shehla said. The students are also demanding resignation of HRD minister Smriti Irani allegeing that she “misused powers” and “peddled lies” regarding the row at JNU and Hyderabad University where a dalit scholar -Rohith Vemula- was found hanging in a hostel room.
“We want the government to enact a ‘Rohith Act’ to end caste based discrimination in universities and educational institutions,” she added.