NEW DELHI: Two former members of the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad Wednesday claimed that the JNU sedition incident was pre-planned by the saffron outfit to divert attention from the suicide of a Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.
Pradeep Narwal, an ex-ABVP member along with Jatin Goraya, another ex-ABVP member, addressing a press conference in Delhi questioned the timing of the chargesheet.
“We’ve decided to speak out now because of the media trial that has started. Three years back, TV channels defamed JNU students as terrorists in order to divert attention from Rohith’s institutional murder. The campaign was planned by the ABVP, which was on the defensive after Rohith’s death, and had asked Dalit members like us to go on TV channels and say that Rohith was working against India.
“Today, the chargesheet being filed days before Rohith’s death anniversary is to divert the attention of the people before the Lok Sabha elections away from the marginalisation of the oppressed by this government, and rising unemployment,” said Narwal, who is now a Congress activist in Haryana, Telegraph reported.
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The duo had resigned from ABVP in February 2016 after the sedition row. Jatin was the ABVP’s JNU unit vice-president had to disassociate himself from the casteist, farcical and patriarchal organisation.
“At the time, I remember Jatin and I, since we were Dalits, were told repeatedly to appear for TV interviews and defend ABVP after Vemula’s suicide, which we refused to do since they kept referring to him as a terrorist. With the February 9 event, they saw an opportunity to divert attention,” claimed Narwal.
Referring to the video in which “anti-national slogans” were allegedly raised such as Pakistan Zindabad (Long live Pakistan) – the two said the people were actually ABVP members or sympathisers.
“Being from the unit, we know for a fact that those seen in the video are indeed ABVP members. However, we can’t name them for security reasons,” Narwal said.
Narwal added, “We believe that the video is doctored. If it is not, then why are the student leaders attacked, and not those who were seen chanting anti-India slogans?” NewsClick reported.
The ex-members also came down heavily on the media trial of the student leaders, naming Zee News and Sudhir Chaudhary. They said, “Perhaps Zee does not know that the students seen sloganeering in the highly circulated video are from the ABVP.”