'Protest is For What Exactly?' Devendra Fadnavis Miffed as Free Kashmir Poster Spring Up During JNU Violence Stir in Mumbai
A poster with the message "Free Kashmir" was carried by one of the protesters at the site.
New Delhi: Amid outrage in several Maharashtra universities over JNU violence, posters reading 'Free Kashmir' sprung up at Mumbai's Gateway of India, drawing sharp reaction from former CM Devendra Fadnavis.
"Protest is for what exactly? Why slogans of 'Free Kashmir'? How can we tolerate such separatist elements in Mumbai? 'Free Kashmir' slogans by Azadi gang at 2km from CMO? Uddhav ji are you going to tolerate this Free Kashmir Anti India campaign right under your nose???" he tweeted.
Protests against the violence - that had left at least 28 people, including JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh, injured - were held in Mumbai, Aurangabad and Pune among other cities. Political leaders led by state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also condemned the attack.
Maharashtra minister Jitendra Awhad joined the protest at the Gateway of India in south Mumbai, while Thackeray said the JNU violence reminded him of the deadly 26/11 terror attacks in the financial capital. A poster with the message "Free Kashmir" was carried by one of the protesters at the site.
Awhad sat with the protesters for a while on Monday. "When people fear intellect, there is anarchy," the NCP minister told reporters. NCP president Sharad Pawar said JNU students were subjected to a cowardly and planned attack.
Hundreds of people, including students, women and senior citizens — who assembled at the Gateway of India at Sunday midnight — demanded action against the culprits and called for Union Home Minister Amit Shah's resignation. "JNU students and professors were subjected to a cowardly but planned attack," Pawar said. "Use of violent means to suppress democratic values and thought will never succeed," the former Union minister said.
Asserting that students in Maharashtra were safe, Thackeray said he will not tolerate any move to hurt them. Terming the masked attackers at JNU as "cowards", Thackeray said their identity should be revealed.
The protesters at the Gateway of India refused to end their stir till their demands were met. Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) activist Prasad S said, "We are going to continue the protest at the Gateway this night (Monday) too. We are not forcing people to sit with us, they are willingly joining us.
"Our main demand is the arrest of around 50 people involved in the JNU attack. The Delhi Police failed to prevent this attack. Home Minister Amit Shah should step down. IPS officer Abdur Rahman, who resigned from service in December, was among the agitators and hit out at the central government over the JNU mayhem.
Members of various student and youth organisations staged a separate demonstration at SPPU on Monday evening. Holding placards and shouting slogans, they strongly condemned the JNU violence JNU and sought action against the culprits.
Meanwhile, students of the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) said they would take out a march to SPPU on Tuesday to protest the JNU attack. In Aurangabad, central Maharashtra, students linked arms and formed a human chain in the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University to protest against the JNU violence. The protesters shouted slogans against the BJP, the ABVP and other Sangh Parivar outfits.