An activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a right-wing student organisation, was beaten up by a mob after he hurled a slipper at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar in Nagpur on Thursday.
The incident occurred when Kanhaiya had started his speech after paying a tribute to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at Deekshabhoomi on the occasion of his 125th birthday.
Although the activist missed the target, the organisers and Kanhaiya’s supporters took on the attacker, identified as Haridas Shinde, who is a Dalit .
Earlier, when Kanhaiya shared the dais with other dignitaries, several Bajrang Dal activists shouted slogans against him and tried to disrupted the meeting. They were also roughed up by organisers and handed over to the police.
The activists wanted to know why someone like Kanhaiya, who supported terrorists like Afzal Guru and JNU students who had shouted anti-national slogans, was being allowed to share the stage with others.
Continuing his speech, Kanhaiya dubbed such attackers undemocratic and intolerants. ”Is prakar joote aur patthar marne se main darne wala nahi,” he said.
Kanhaiya and two other JNU students, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, were arrested on sedition charges in February. They were released on a six-month interim bail last month. The incident had sparked a nationwide debate on nationalism and led to a face-off between the BJP and opposition parties, particularly the Congress.
Earlier, the city police detained six Bajrang Dal activists after they tried to attack Kanhaiya’s car when he arrived at the Nagpur airport in the morning. They also hurled stones at vehicles of the event organisers, who went to receive Kanhaiya.
This is Kanhaiya’s first visit to Nagpur--the home of national headquarters of RSS-- after he was charged with sedition for allegedly organizing and participating in an event at JNU where anti-national slogans were raised.
Firing a salvo against the RSS-BJP ideologies in the NDA government, Kanhaiya accused the government of attack the democratic set up in the country and said there was a direct assault on the Constitution authored by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.
The JNU SU head said the Modi government was damaging the credibility of the educational institutions, like the JNU, and imposing its own ideology and harassing the students for acts they did not commit.
Strongly refuting that any anti-India slogan was raised in the JNU campus, Kanhaiya said there was no need for doubting our integrity.