Congress, BJP trade barbs over JNU row, Rohith Vemula issue

Kanhaiya's bail hearing adjourned as police seeks fresh remand

New Delhi, Feb 24: Amid heated arguments between the opposition and the treasury benches, the Lok Sabha on Wednesday discussed the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) row and the issue of the death of a research scholar in Hyderabad University.

Initiating the discussion, the Congress accused the central government of using government machinery for crushing the voices of those who are opposed to the ideology of the BJP and the RSS. But the ruling Bharatiya Jata Party (BJP) took pot shots at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for standing with anti-tiols.

"Inside parliament, the ministers of this government take oath of constitution and outside they crush it. Using government machinery they are crushing the voices of those who oppose the ideology of RSS," Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia told the Lok Sabha.

"They targeted Kanhaiya Kumar, the student's union leader just because he was opposed to the ideology of RSS and had defeated an ABVP candidate in JNU election," he added.

The Congress MP from Gu in Madhya Pradesh also accused the BJP-led government of creating an atmosphere of intolerance in the country, alleging that efforts were on to crush any opposing point of view.

"What we have seen in the last two years is an atmosphere of intolerance in the country. There is every possible attempt to crush opposing viewpoint," Scindia said.

Scindia said the government wants a particular thinking to prevail.

Scindia demanded action against Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani and Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya over the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad university.

Participating in the debate BJP member Anurag Thakur accused Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi of standing with anti-tiols and said the Congress party would have to decide either they were with the martyrs of the country or with those who support terrorists like Afzal Guru.

"You will have to decide whether you are with those who attacked our parliament or those who protect it? You will have to decide whether you are with ideology of Gandhiji or Maoists," Thakur said.

Targeting the Congress and its vice president Rahul Gandhi, Thakur said: "Your leader goes and sympathises with those who were celebrating Afzal Guru as a martyr."

Thakur accused the Congress of "standing with those who call Afzal Guru a martyr", and sought to know from Congress president Sonia Gandhi whether Afzal Guru was a terrorist or not.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned the bail plea hearing of JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested on sedition charges, till February 29 after Delhi Police said it will seek his fresh remand to "unearth any larger conspiracy".

Additiol Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for Delhi Police, told Justice Pratibha Rani that they were moving a remand application to seek Kanhaiya's police custody for the third time, to confront him with fellow Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya who surrendered on Tuesday night.

The court deferred the hearing till February 29 after Kanhaiya's advocates Kapil Sibal and Rebecca John asked the court to postpone the hearing as they will oppose the police remand application.

"Since two JNU students surrendered last (Tuesday) night, we need to confront them with Kanhaiya," ASG Mehta said.

Allowing police to move the remand application before the concerned court, Justice Pratibha Rani said: "We have to ensure that they don't suffer any scratch, that's my only concern."

Delhi Police opposed the bail plea of Kanhaiya and submitted a status report to the court.

If Kanhaiya is released on bail, "he may create law and order problems by conducting meetings in his support, hampering arrest of other accused people", said police.

Kanhaiya "did not cooperate at all during the course of the interrogation", they said.

The report also said Delhi Police was looking into the "linkage between Kanhaiya and some foreign elements with their mouths covered" who were present during the February 9 event at the university.

Top Headlines

No stories found.
Sentinel Assam