In an exclusive interview with the Minister of State of Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, CNN-IBN anchor, Arunima, sought Rijiju’s opinion on the recent state of affairs that has seen students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University at loggerheads with the Central Government.
The arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar under charges of sedition filed by ABVP activists has left the supporters of Kumar outraged.
Kanhaiya Kumar allegedly raised anti-India slogans at a cultural event organised by students in JNU, to mark the death anniversary of Afzal Guru.
Rijiju started by legitimising the police intervention in JNU, stating that Kanhaiya Kumar didn’t abuse the government which according to him would be acceptable given the democratic nature of India, but he actually did far worse by insulting the nation.
They (anti-nationals) can’t divert the nation’s attention. They have been caught now. They said India ko tukra tukra karke rahenge.Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State of Home Affairs
When asked if he has any evidence to support his statement, Rijiju vaguely said “people will see later” when the police finds the evidence.
In the interview, the minister also did not clarify how the Home Minister Rajnath Singh came to claim that 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed lent his support to the “anti-national” students of JNU.
Will you believe your Home Minister or Hafiz Saeed when he says he’s not involved in this?Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State of Home Affairs
Comparing the dissenters from JNU to Saeed, he said:
They support Afzal Guru, Hafiz Saeed supports Afzal Guru. What is the difference between them?
Establishing the similarity between the LeT Chief and the student attendees of the cultural event that saw the start of a political war between the right-wing supporters and the Left-leaning activists in the JNU campus, Rijiju went on to explain the gravity of sedition charges. He said that it was rather upsetting that at this juncture when all the political parties should have united, they remain unsupportive of each other.
CNN-IBN interviewer, Arunima, went on to seek clarification on why sloganeering was viewed as a crime and not the assault launched upon journalists, teachers and students of JNU in the Patiala High Court.
Rijiju retorted by asking, “Was there a murder?”, casually adding that he wasn’t aware of all the details of the event that transpired at the court.
You have to understand that the teachers from JNU supporting the students were students of JNU themselves and very left leaning. So, they support Afzal Guru too. But who is responsible for this mess?Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State of Home Affairs
When Arunima asked why the BJP MLAs could take the law into their hands and assault people but still not get booked for their crimes by the police as swiftly as Kanhaiya Kumar was, Rijiju said:
You have to respect the law. You have to understand that law depends on the severity of the crime. They (students) have been accused of sedition. It is very serious. Why are you supporting the anti-nationals? The media houses and the political parties should not be supporting it. Nobody should defend anti-nationals.