Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday compared the violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi the previous evening with the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, PTI reported.
“The attack on JNU students on Sunday night reminded me of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack,” Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai. “Students are feeling unsafe in the country. I will not allow anything like JNU to happen in Maharashtra.”
The Sena president said the masked attackers were cowards, and called for their identity to be revealed. “If Delhi Police fail to find out perpetrators of the attack, then they will also be in the dock,” he added. The JNU Students’ Union has blamed the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad – an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – for the violence, and claimed that members of the outfit entered the university campus with rods and sticks. Scroll.in traced WhatsApp messages planning the attack to ABVP activists.
Thackeray said the violence at JNU was a “blot on our country”, Hindustan Times reported. “There is unrest among students now, because they feel unsafe,” he added. “This is a blot on our country. No student should feel afraid, they are our future, and their thought process must be protected, nurtured and shaped. I am certain such violence will not be tolerated in our country either.”
Asked if he believed that the violence at JNU was a sponsored attack, the chief minister advocated a cautious approach. “It will become clear if this was a sponsored attack,” he said. “Things will become clear one by one. It is the government’s job to investigate and take action.”
Thackeray’s statement came hours after Congress President Sonia Gandhi described the violence as a “bone-chilling attack”, and “a grim reminder of the extent the government will go to stifle and subjugate every voice of dissent”.
While Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the violence reminded him of “Nazi rule [in Germany] 90 years ago”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called it a “fascist surgical strike” by the Bharatiya Janata Party, PTI reported. In Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party leader and state minister Jitendra Awhad joined the students at overnight protest at the Gateway of India. “When people fear intellect, there is anarchy,” he told reporters.
The BJP and its ministers condemned the violence, but blamed “forces of anarchy” for it. The party said it was a desperate attempt by these forces, “who are determined to use students as cannon fodder, create unrest to shore up their shrinking political footprint”. Union minister Prakash Javadekar alleged that “Congress, Communists, AAP and some elements want to create environment of violence in universities across the country”.
JD(U) demands inquiry by a Supreme Court judge
Meanwhile, BJP ally Janata Dal (United) called on authorities to sack JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, PTI reported. Accusing the Delhi Police of failing in its duties, the party demanded that a Supreme Court judge investigate the violence.
“We strongly condemn the attitude of the university’s vice-chancellor and other authorities who became silent spectators of the dirty game of these goons,” said party spokesperson KC Tyagi. “Police officials too failed in performing their duties. The JD(U) demands a free and fair enquiry by a Supreme Court judge and for a fair trial, the VC and other top administrators must be removed from their respective posts.”
- JNU: WhatsApp messages planning attack traced to ABVP activists
- ‘It was complete mayhem’: JNU students and teachers describe brutal attacks on Sunday evening
- JNU violence: Students gather at Gateway of India overnight; protests also held in Kolkata, Kerala
- JNU violence: Scroll.in’s Rohan Venkat, other journalists abused, attacked outside university gates
- ‘Like 1930s Germany’: Opposition blames government for JNU violence, BJP attacks Left