Sunday, April 11, 2010

Battleground JNU

By: Amit Singh Date: 2010-04-12 Place: Delhi

It's not quota or coffee. Divided over Maoists, students take out long march

The war that was fought in the jungles of Dantewada on April 6 also skimmed through the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Friday night. A group of communist leaders, who were pro-Maoists, clashed with some Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) students. And in the battle of ideologies the Congress supported NSUI and the BJP's ABVP ended up on the same side of the fence. On Sunday evening, over 200 students joined a solidarity march, organised by the newly formed anti-Naxal group- Students Against Naxalism.

JNU students participate in a march against the Naxal attack on CRPF
jawans in Dantewada, organised by ABVP, at JNU campus on Sunday

The protesting students feel that the university administration has failed to stop the 'Naxal organisations' from conducting anti-national activities on campus. "We are submitting a memorandum to the vice-chancellor. Had the administration been active, the institution would not have turned into a Naxal's haven," said Sudheer Sharma, JNU ABVP president, supporting the protest.

"We have been openly warned of dire consequences- Jis tarah se waha police ko mara gaya hai, usi tarah tum logo ko yahan marenge (You will be killed as the policemen were massacred in Dantewada). JNU has produced great scholars in the past. However students like these have totally spoiled the environment. They find the institution a safe place for carrying out such anti-national activities. Such acts will not be tolerated at any cost," added Sharma. NSUI and ABVP are observing an anti-Naxal week on the campus.

On Friday night members of disparate student organisations clashed over what was seen as an attempt to support the Naxalites and 'celebrate' the massacre of 76 CRPF men at Dantewada. National Students Union of India (NSUI), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Youth for Equality (YFE) came together to allege that a campus function by the JNU's Forum Against War on People was used by Maoist supporters to celebrate the killings.

"I want to know what was so important that they could not postpone the event even after 76 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed. They knew it was a sensitive issue," said Sunil Jhajharia, National Students Union of India president.

Samar Pandey, a member of the Forum Against War On People said, "The meeting was only meant to oppose Operation Green Hunt launched by the government. We had taken permission but NSUI and ABVP students tried to disrupt the meeting and also misbehaved,"

Meanwhile leader of Opposition in Delhi Legislative Assembly VK Malhotra has urged home minister P Chidambaram to remove the elements supporting the Maoists from the university. "The university has become a haven of intellectuals supporting Naxalite violence," he said.

Campus recruitment?
In February this year Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) claimed to have arrested eight suspected Maoists - one of them has a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University - in Kanpur.
Identified as Chintan alias Banshidhar Singh, has a PhD and M Phil from JNU. He was a former member of the organisation's politburo and has been tipped to be future head of Uttar Bihar, UP and Uttarakhand sub-area committee.
He had been in jail for several years and was out on bail. Other 'Naxalites' were identified as Naveen Prasad Singh, Ambrish, Deepak Ram, all natives of Bihar, Shivraj Singh, Rajendra Kumar Phulara, hailing from Uttarakhand and Kripashanker of Kushinagar district of UP.

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