New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) A group of scholars, artist, writers and others on Saturday initiated an online petition condemning the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case.
“We condemn the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar on trumped up charges of sedition and demand that he shall be released immediately,” they said in the petition, adding that “the only way to counter such incidents, when they occur, is through a deepening of dialogue, not through police action.”
“The police has no business to enter places of learning and harass students (including students who were clearly trying to defuse the situation and to take a stand against the irresponsible elements who gave the objectionable slogans) when there had been no breach of peace,” it said.
The petition also condemned the irresponsible sloganeering by some people at the fringes of a gathering on the JNU campus to mark the third anniversary of the execution of Afzal Guru.
The petition was signed by Centre for the Study of Developing Societies’ fellows Ashis Nandy, Sibaji Bandyopadhyay and Ravi Sundaram, its director Rajeev Bhargava, Jamia Millia Islamia’s AJ Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre associate professor Sabina Kidwai and Sabena Gadihoke, professor Shohini Ghosh and artist Sarnath Banerjee.
The online petition “Say No to Police Action in JNU and all Universities” was created by artist Shuddhabrata Sengupta in change.org.
A meeting was organised on Tuesday on the JNU campus where a group of students mourned the hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) co-founder Maqbool Bhat and shouted anti-India slogans.
Delhi Police registered a sedition case on Thursday and arrested Kanhaiya Kumar. He was later sent to three days police custody on Friday.