Student Leader’s Arrest Prompts Anti Government Rallies in India

student leader

Thousands of people have taken part in a protest over the arrest of a student leader in India. He is from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and was arrested for “anti-India” behavior.

Kanhaiya Kumar, student union leader of JNU was arrested after a rally on the campus that commemorate, Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri man convicted of an attack on Indian Parliament, reported Times of India. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student faction linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) filed a police complaint against him. Kumar was arrested amid allegations that anti-India slogans were used in the rally.

The student groups called for a strike in the campus and very few students attended the classes on Monday. Over the weekend  thousands of colleges and universities across the country have held protest rallies. The issue took a nastier turn on Monday afternoon when outside a New Delhi courtroom  some lawyers and BJP supporters attacked the students and reporters, stated CP24.

The BJP supporters also chanted slogans calling the students and reporters as anti-nationals and asked them to leave India and go to Pakistan.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the rally in the JNU campus was perceived as a celebration of an attempt to “question national unity”. He tweeted, “If anyone shouts anti India slogan & challenges nation’s sovereignty & integrity while living in India, they will not be tolerated or spared.”

Meanwhile, the arrest of the student leader had its repercussions on the campuses across the country. In Osmania University two students’ group almost came to blows. A student group in Hyderabad University Campus staged a rally too. On the other hand, 10 All India Students’ Federation (AISF) activists assembled outside the University College of Arts and Social Sciences (Arts College) and protested against Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest.  They also demanded for his release. They burnt the effigy of BJP-led union government.

Afzal Guru was considered as a terrorist and he was hanged for his role in attacking parliament. However, his hanging is perceived as injustice in Kashmir Valley and many people felt that he was innocent.

The protest against the government marks the conflict between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist government and left-wing and liberal groups, stated Business Insider. The Intolerance issue is already creating waves in the country. The government is also blamed of subduing the voices of dissent.  Arundhuti Roy’s arrest was also seen by many in the same light.

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