JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested for sedition almost three weeks ago, was released from the Tihar Jail on Thursday evening and returned to the university campus amid noisy celebrations by hundreds of students and teachers.
Kumar, a PhD student at the university, was granted an interim bail for six months on Wednesday by Delhi high court. Kumar came out of the prison at 6:30pm and addressed fellow students at the campus a few hours later.
Fellow students at JNU, agitating since JNUSU president’s arrest, took out a victory march shouting slogans like “Jai Kanhaiya Lal ki”.
In his speech on Thursday night, Kanhaiya hurled barbs and took digs at Prime Minister Modi, RSS and ABVP. He accused the Narendra Modi government of trying to suppress JNU’s voice to hide its failures to fulfil its poll promises.
“The struggle is long. The more you try to suppress us, the higher we will rise,” Kumar said as the crowds erupted in cheers.
“We are not asking for freedom from India, but asking for freedom in India,” he said.
Kumar’s fiery speech targeted the promise of bringing back black money, the slogan of “sabka saath sabka vikas”, PM’s monthly radio programme “Mann ki Baat” and took a dig at Modi’s tweet of Satyamev Jayate.
The February 12 arrest of Kumar, the first president of the JNU Students Union from the CPI-affiliated AISF, was widely denounced, more so after he was beaten up in a Delhi court on two days by some lawyers.
On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court gave a six-month interim bail to the jailed student leader but made wide-ranging observations on issues such as nationalism and love for the country that were quickly lapped up by the establishment and denounced by legal experts as unwarranted.