Jammu University dismissed on Saturday allegations by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad that Kashmiri students disrespected the national anthem during an event earlier this month and set up a committee to probe the charges.
The alleged incident occurred on April 3 during the inaugural ceremony of an inter-university sports meet and the ABVP disrupted events on Friday to protest the incident.
The ABVP said that it didn’t engineer any trouble and the protest was spontaneously put together by students of Jammu University when they saw a video purportedly showing some students from Kashmir’s contingent allegedly talking during the national anthem.
The university said nothing of the sort ever happened.
“No student from Kashmir was talking or making any unethical gestures when national anthem was being played on April 3,” said professor Avtar Singh Jasrotia, director of Jammu University’s Directorate of Sports and Physical Education.
He regretted that an unwarranted controversy was created by some “elements”. “The students were braving sun during the ceremony. If some among them were bit late in standing up, that doesn’t amount to disrespect,” said Jasrotia.
The Jammu University vice-chancellor RD Sharma constituted a four-member probe panel comprising professor Satnam Kour, professor Pankaj K Srivastava, professor Jasvir Singh and professor PD Singh. The university also brought forward the closing date for the meet by a day to Saturday.
According to ABVP’s Abhinav Pandotra, after the video went viral on April 3, the student group demanded stern action by the university authorities.
“On April 7 students of Jammu University staged protest and also appealed to the visiting students from Kashmir to not to show disrespect to the national anthem. We didn’t instigate anyone,” said Pandotra.
He also recalled how the VC on November 10 had reportedly said that it would have been better if Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani hadn’t been killed.
Pandotra further said that the student group would protest at 3 pm on Saturday on JU premises when forest minister Lal Singh is supposed to be in attendance.
On Friday, ABVP activists reportedly entered the Jammu University’s sports ground at about 11:10 am, during football final between students of Jammu University and Islamic University of Science and Technology and the national anthem was played in the middle of the match. They also allegedly disrupted volleyball final and basketball final between teams from Jammu and Kashmir regions.
Last week, a police case was filed against a local team in Kashmir’s Ganderbal district for allegedly playing the Pakistani national anthem before a cricket match. A purported video of team had also surfaced on social sites that showed the players allegedly wearing the jersey of the Pakistani team and apparently singing the Pakistani national anthem.