Protests in support of the JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar continued across the country on Friday. Nearly half a dozen trains were stopped in Bihar by hundreds of students, mostly activists of student bodies of left parties and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), demanding the release of JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, officials said.
In Chennai, activists of the All India Students Association created a ruckus, with police bodily removing one of the protesters from the location. As many as 40 people were arrested on Thursday when activists rallied together, calling for the release of Kumar.
AISA women protester refusing to move from Central Govt office - Shastri Bhavan in Chennai. pic.twitter.com/ZxwKWOrKEF— ANI (@ANI_news) February 19, 2016
Members of the Communist Party of India were detained in Hyderabad as they took to the roads in support of Kumar, a member of the affiliated All India Students Federation (AISF). Just last month the city witnessed scores from the student community protest against the government for the suicide of the Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula. At that time, students at universities in Delhi staged similar protests in solidarity.
In Patna, members of the AISF blocked the Rajendra Nagar railway station, halting trains heading out and entering in. Party members were seen clambering on two trains, waving flags and holding up placards supporting the JNU students’ union.
Students, shouting slogans, stopped several train in Bihar, including the Sampark Kranti Express at Darbhanga railway station, Janki express at Khagaria railway station and Jainagar Samastipur passenger train at Madhubani railway station. The disruption affected dozens of trains and passengers. Kumar hails from the Begusarai district in Bihar where police are on stand-by to protect his family.
Journalists in Bengaluru also held a sit-in at the Press Club, condemning the attack on journalists at the Patiala House court. Lawyers had mobbed members of the press reporting from the court on Monday and also attacked JNU students and faculty members present at the time.
Kanhaiya Kumar has been charged with sedition and criminal conspiracy for anti-national slogans raised at an event organised on JNU Jawaharlal Nehru University campus in Delhi on February 9. He was sentenced to judicial custody till March 2. Kumar’s bail plea will be heard by the high court on Friday.