Sedition-charged student leader Kanhaiya Kumar will address a public meeting at Nagpur on Thursday, potentially bringing him in direct confrontation with right-wing organisations in the Maharashtra city which houses the RSS headquarters.
Several organisations led by the Bajrang Dal on Wednesday vowed to foil the meeting by Kumar whom they accuse of spreading anti-national sentiments.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ union leader will address the meeting to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar, a Dalit icon whom Kumar considers his role-model.
It will be Kumar’s first visit to the city after he was charged with sedition over a JNU event in February where anti-national slogans were allegedly shouted by a section of students. The incident had sparked a nationwide debate on nationalism and led to a face-off between student groups and the BJP-led government at the Centre.
Sources said that though the meeting, organised by the Progressive Students’ Youth Action Committee, was finalised long time ago, Sangh Parivar groups have become very active for the last two days.
Bajrang Dal’s city chief Rajkumar Gupta termed Kanhaiya a “traitor” and said his group will not allow the meeting.
The leader of Yuva Sanghatan Parshu Thakur also demanded cancellation of the meeting, saying it will lead to chaos. He said they will oppose the meeting in a democratic manner.
Some women’s organisations too opposed the meeting, alleging that whatever Kanhaiya has done has only spread crime and an atmosphere of chaos in society.
The organisers, however, defended the meeting and said Kanhaiya has “full faith in the Indian Constitution”.
Salil Deshmukh of Nationalist Youth Congress, said the BJP and RSS have tutored a few people to oppose Kanhaiya.
He also threatened to foil any attempt by the Bajrang Dal to stall the meeting.