The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) on Thursday distanced itself from the “undemocratic slogans” allegedly raised at an event against the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, and attacked Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad for trying to malign the university’s democratic traditions.
A day after JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadeesh Kumar initiated a disciplinary inquiry into the incident, the campus saw protests by JNUSU and ABVP against each other.
The JNUSU has two members from the Left-backed All India Students Association (AISA), one from All India Students Federation (AISF) and one from RSS-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
“We are appalled at the way the entire incident is being used to malign JNU students. At the outset, we want to condemn the undemocratic slogans that were raised by some people on that day. It is important to note that the slogans were not raised by members of Left organisations or JNU students,” said Kanhaiya Kumar, JNUSU president.
Saurabh Kumar Sharma, JNUSU joint secretary and ABVP member, said they want the university committee to come up with findings within a week .“The organisers should be expelled. We want a time-bound inquiry and in a week this matter should be solved. Such anti-national activities cannot continue in JNU,” he said.
ABVP also burnt effigies of JNU administration for their inaction in the incident even though the Left-backed groups accused the administration of acting on the behest of ABVP.
JNUSU also condemned the administration and alleged that it was working as per diktats of ABVP. “Those people or organisations whose stand differs even a little from ABVP are being branded anti-national –the same pattern that led to Rohit Vermula to suicide,” said JNUSU general secretary Rama Naga.
The ABVP said they would approach ministries to ensure ‘punishment’ for various activists, once again suggesting that the ministries would accept their narrative uncritically and witchhunt students, just like in Rohit’s case, he said.
Left-leaning Students Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Students Federation (DSF) also criticised ABVP. The event on Tuesday was organised by a group of students some of who were formerly with Democratic Students’ Union.