JNU students broke into slogans of ‘azaadi’ (freedom) and ‘lal salam’(Red salute) as soon as news of students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar’s six-month conditional bail in a sedition case reached them on Wednesday.
Students and teachers, who were protesting at Parliament Street when the news broke, decided to hold a victory march on the JNU campus.
The march began at Sabarmati Lawns and went up to the administrative block, with the students raising slogans such as “Smriti Irani jhooth hai comrade Kanhaiya jeeta hai (Smriti Irani is a liar, comrade Kanhaiya has won)”.Teachers too joined the celebration.
“Without any reason, they kept our leader for 20 days… Now all those who called Kanhaiya anti-national should apologise,” said V Lenin Kumar, former JNUSU president.
Students continued to rally for fellow students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, and said they would hold a bigger victory march on Thursday. “Hope Kanhaiya will be able to be a part of it. We are very happy and will continue with our struggle,” said Shehla Rashid Shora, JNUSU vice-president.
Earlier in the day, students and teachers from JNU, Delhi University, Ambedkar University and Jamia Millia Islamia took part in a march to demand the release of Kanhaiya, Umar and Anirban. “It has come as a great relief to all of us who knew that the charges against Kanhaiya were completely fabricated,” said Professor Ayesha Kidwai, a JNU teacher.
Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s mother and Khalid’s father also joined the protestors.
Meanwhile, JNU administration welcomed the court’s decision and said they hoped normalcy would soon return on the campus.