Journalists take to streets to protest assault

“The Congress condemns the barbaric and inhuman attack in Patiala House Court yesterday (Monday) on journalists, young students and teachers by BJP goons led by their MLA O.P. Sharma”.

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) teachers today joined the students in boycotting classes in protest against arrest of its student union leader in a sedition case and said they would take classes on “nationalism” in the varsity lawns.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday claimed that the event organised inside JNU campus towards the hanging of Afzal Guru had acquired “help” from Pakistan-based mostly terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed.

On Monday, his police custody was extended by two days.

President of AMU Teachers’ Association Prof Mujahid Beg said they were “behind the JNU community in this hour of trial”.

The IB report also names 16 students, including Kumar, among those who were actively participating in the event.

“Security of the people going to the court needs to be ensured by the Supreme Court”, he said.

In the memorandum to the Home Minister, the journalists demanded that the perpetrators of the assault be brought to book at the earliest.

“Even women journalists were not spared”, the memorandum stated.

Singh, calling it an unfortunate incident, heard their demands of intervention, ensuring “accountability of the Delhi Police who watched silently as the assault happened”.

“It will not be out of place to mention here that due to clash of ideologies, the possibility of dharna, demo or protest by ABVP, DSU and other students’ organisations can’t be ruled out against the backdrop of the incident (February 9), where different students organisations are backed by different political parties, there is every possibility of politicisation”, it said. The memorandum added, “It is a matter of concern that the Delhi High Commissioner has dismissed the incident describing it as a scuffle. It is time we teach our students what nationalism is”, said Rohith Azad, a faculty member, who was among those who were attacked yesterday.

More than a dozen journalists were set upon by lawyers who prevented them in the discharge of their duties.

The journalists were attacked when they were covering the appearance of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar in the court in connection with the sedition charge slapped against him in the JNU case.

Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University attend a protest inside the university campus in New Delhi India on Monday. — Reuters