Yechury slams use of sedition act against JNU students

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday slammed the government over the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) row saying that the sedition act should not have been used against students.

“Mahatma Gandhi went to jail under the sedition act. Bhagat Singh was martyred. You are using it against your students,” Yechury said in the Rajya Sabha.

JNU came under attack after an event was held on the university campus on February 9 against the execution of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested in a sedition case on February 12 for allegedly rasing anti-India slogans at the event.

“Only through debate and discussion that we rise to higher levels. Do not destroy that potential of India… Let us have a House committee to enquire into what is happening, what is anti-national… let us redeem our pledge to remove the sedition clause which can be misused as it is being misused,” Yechury said.

He also slammed the move by Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani to instal 207 feet tall national flags at central universities to signify a “strong India”. The decision was taken after a meeting the HRD minister had with vice chancellors of 39 central universities.

“The national flag in our hearts are much higher than 207 feet. No need for any certificate on patriotism,” Yechury said.

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