GUWAHATI, Jan 7 - Condemning Sunday’s incident of violence and attack on students and teachers by miscreants at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia has requested the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognizance of the matter and take action against the culprits.
“JNU is a prime university where free thinking has always been the norm and the BJP is trying to gag the voice of JNU. The earlier incident involving Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and others serve as example of the BJP’s despotic policy. Fabricated charges of sedition were brought against them at the behest of the then Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani and all but the government has failed to prove the accusation. Now, after Amit Shah spoke about students’ involvement in politics and publicly targeted JNU students and others, the goons of the RSS-BJP-ABVP have resorted to a pre-planned attack on JNU students. The goons entered the JNU premises in collusion with Delhi Police, which is controlled by the BJP-led Central government, and also the Vice Chancellor who was appointed by the Central government after removal of the earlier Vice Chancellor before his term had ended,” said Saikia.
He said that JNU is a seat of higher learning where meritorious students from even poor families can enrol as the fees are low.
“The BJP-led government has hiked the fees so that only students from elite families can study there and the real sons of the soil, who constitute the majority of JNU alumni, are deprived of the opportunity to acquire quality higher education due to unaffordable fees. This is an attempt to prevent poor students from acquiring knowledge to work for a democratic and progressive India, because that scenario is against the ideals of the RSS-BJP. The RSS-BJP does not want students to have a reasonable idea about our Constitution and the secular ethos of India,” Saikia said.
The Congress leader alleged that similar incidents were witnessed in Assam as well. “Even in Assam, we have witnessed how boys and girls of Cotton University were beaten up by security forces at the behest of the BJP-led State government during the anti-CAB/CAA protests and how some youths including Sam Stafford were gunned down in cold blood. Prior to that, many college students were brutally assaulted by the police in Margherita because they opposed the ABVP during the students’ union elections. The same ideology was in evidence in JNU... This is exactly the reason why the BJP-led government is trying to privatise education and make it highly unaffordable so that India can be converted to a kingdom of ‘andh bhakts’ who cannot reason due to lack of education,” said Saikia.
He added, “I urge the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognizance of the matter and take action against the culprits and accomplices as per law and further issue a directive to the Central and State governments to ensure safety of students and enforce constitutional rights such as freedom of expression.”