New Delhi: Jawahar Lal Nehru University students staged a vociferous protest on Thursday at an event attended by Union Minister Jitendra Singh against the scrapping of Article 370 provisions.
A heated exchange took place between groups of students from Left-leaning outfits and the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The groups also resorted to sloganeering.
Vice-Chancellor of the JNU, which hosted the event, asserted that the varsity, like the rest of India, supported the abrogation of Article 370 provisions in "one voice".
The sloganeering outside the JNU convention centre, where the event was organised, did not went unnoticed by Singh who in a lighter vein termed it his "grand" welcome.
Singh, while delivering a speech on Article 370, said, "It was a grand welcome that resonated inside and outside (the convention centre). I feel gladdened. It means they have curiosity and enthusiasm to express themselves about Article 370."
He said it was the enthusiasm of the students who expressed themselves in a "different mode" that they found was convenient.
The protesting students outside the convention centre carried posters and raised slogans like "Kashmir hai kashmiriyon ka, Hindustaniyon ki Jagir nahin" (Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris, it's not a an ancestral property of Indians).
This was countered by the ABVP students who shouted, "Kashmir se Kanyakumari, Bharat Mata Ek Hamari" (from Kashmir to Kanyakumar, India is one).
The JNU students' union (JNUSU), dominated by Left leaning student outfits, in a statement condemned the "vulgar display of triumphalism" on the campus.
"This campus and its students, teachers and karmacharis are rock solid in unity with the people of Kashmir and condemn the trampling of constitutional values and democracy in Kashmir," read the statement.
It added that the JNUSU continued to be in solidarity with the "citizens" of Jammu and Kashmir and will organise a protest meeting to "reveal" the current state of affairs in the Valley.
The ABVP alleged that "pro-Pak" slogans were raised by the students protesting against the minister's event.
"As the talk was about to start, slogans were raised against India that were pro-pakistan in nature. These groups tried to enter the premises of the venue where the talk was taking place to disrupt it," read a statement from Durgesh Kumar, president of JNU unit of the ABVP. He said the "indecent behaviour" of protesters shamed the JNU.