Centre calls on Opposition to ‘openly’ condemn ‘anti-national’ incident at JNU

New Delhi : Asserting that it was only a ‘handful’ of people responsible for the current state of unrest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Saturday reiterated that action will be taken as per law and called on the Opposition to openly condemn the ‘anti-national’ activities at the varsity.

“Whatever incident had happened in JNU related to the anti-national activity and slogans’ being carried out by some students is very unfortunate. Freedom of expression cannot be absolute and unqualified. There has to be a reasonable restriction. By expressing their desire to speak whatever they want, they cannot speak against the country,” Rijiju told ANI.

Backing the Delhi Police’s involvement in the situation at the varsity, he added that all action being taken in the matter must be supported and that there should be no divide based on political lines.

“We all have to understand that when it comes to nation interest, we must stand united. I would like to appeal to the Left and the Congress Party to come out and openly condemn this anti-national act perpetuated by some of the students. We must stand united. We can’t allow JNU or any other educational institutions to be a hub of anti national activities,” Rijiju said.

Stating that besides some students at the university and the faculty it was only a handful of people responsible for the current situation at JNU, he said that they must not be allowed to destroy the basic structure of the varsity.

“The importance of JNU is well understood by everybody. It is a very prestigious university and cannot be allowed to be destroyed by few anti-national people. The nature of the action against such anti national elements will be taken as per law as the law is very specific and clear,” he said.

Adding that nothing came above national interest, Rijiju added that the rights and freedoms which everyone is entitled to, takes a backseat in a situation threatening the nation.

“We are not doing anything extra or anything unconstitutional. The action being taken by the Delhi Police and subsequent action that will be taken, will be as per law,” he said.

A day after Jawaharlal Nehru University student’s union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested in connection with a case of sedition, the Delhi Police on Saturday detained seven more students from the university.

The police had cracked down on a group of protestors at the JNU on Friday and arrested the student leader on sedition charges for allegedly raising anti-India slogans during a demonstration in the campus to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on Tuesday.

Kumar’s arrest evoked strong reactions from JNU students and teachers, past and present, and Opposition parties even as the RSS’s students wing ABVP ‘thanked’ police for arresting the “anti-nationals”. The arrest of Kumar, a member of the CPI’s students wing AISF, was made a day after BJP MP from East Delhi, Maheish Girri, registered a complaint.

The protest was staged even though the JNU administration had revoked permission following a complaint from the ABVP. (ANI)