JNU row: Seven more students detainedResidents of Munirka village protest outside the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) against the organising of a meet to “mourn” the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, in New Delhi on Friday. — PTI

JNU row: Seven more students detained

Yechuri meets Rajnath, seeks release of arrested student leader13 Feb 2016 | 5:10 PM

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police on Saturday detained seven more students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University even as Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechuri met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday and demanded the release of a student leader arrested over sedition charges.

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New Delhi, February 13

The Delhi Police on Saturday detained seven more students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University even as Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechuri met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday and demanded the release of a student leader arrested over sedition charges.

(Read: JNU student leader held for sedition, 8 barred)

According to reports, the students, who were trying to protest at Indira Gandhi Kala Kendra, have been taken to the Parliament Street police station for questioning in connection with the case.

The police on Friday arrested Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar here on charges of raising anti-India slogans during a demonstration on the campus to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

"We apprised home minister that whatever is happening is worse than that happened during the emergency. It should be proved that the 20 people, who are being targeted, are at fault,” Yechuri told media after meeting Singh.

The BJP, meanwhile, said a section of JNU students are trying to destroy the dignity of a prestigious educational institution. The party also slammed political parties for "fuelling" the anti-national sentiments.

“We will not allow anything wrong to happen to the students. At the same time, we will not allow anti-national activities in the country,” it said.

"The home minister guaranteed us that action won't be carried out on any innocent person. We demanded him to release the arrested student leader to which he assured us to look into the matter," Yechuri said.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said the premier academic institute cannot be allowed to be a hub of anti-national activities.

“We can’t allow JNU to be a hub of anti-national activities,” he told reporters here today.

The Minister of State for Home said freedom of expression cannot be absolute and unqualified and reasonable restriction has to be there.

“This was an unfortunate incident. But these are not small kids who don’t know what they do. In the name of freedom of speech, you can’t abuse the nation,” he said.

‘Don’t want to be associated with anti-national activities’

Ex-servicemen who are alumni of JNU threatened to return their degrees on Saturday saying they did not want to be associated with anti-national activities on the university.

"We are constrained at the ongoing anti-national activities on the university campus like celebration of Afzal Guru day and consider it an affront to be equated with the present student fraternity of the university which is indulging in such anti-national activities," ex-servicemen of 54th NDA course said in a letter to JNU vice-chancellor Jagdeesh Kumar.

"We feel that present activities in JNU campus negate the sacrifices made by past degree holders of the university and would therefore want to return our prized and well-earned degrees to your institution if such activities are allowed to be conducted inside the university campus," it added.

JNU students on Tuesday had organised a meet to mourn the hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) co-founder Maqbool Bhat, where anti-India slogans were raised.

Another commemorative meeting was held at the Press Club of India in Delhi on Wednesday where also anti-India slogans and placards were raised. — TNS/Agencies

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