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'The Place I Remember Was Never for Violence': JNU Alumnus Nirmala Sitharaman, Oppn Express Shock Over JNU Mob Attack

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed shock over the incident and claimed it was a 'reflection of fear' that 'fascists in control of our nation' have of the students.


Updated:January 6, 2020, 11:49 AM IST
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'The Place I Remember Was Never for Violence': JNU Alumnus Nirmala Sitharaman, Oppn Express Shock Over JNU Mob Attack
Mob ransacked property in JNU on Sunday evening (News18)

New Delhi: The brutal attack on JNU students that left union president Aishe Ghosh bleeding and over 20 injured drew sharp reaction from the government and opposition, with Jawaharlal Nehru University alumnus and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman describing violence as "horrifying" and asserted that the Modi government wants universities to be safe spaces for all students.

"Horrifying images from JNU — the place I know & remember was one for fierce debates & opinions but never violence. I unequivocally condemn the events of today. This govt, regardless of what has been said the past few weeks, wants universities to be safe spaces for all students," she tweeted.

Violence broke out at JNU on Sunday night after masked men armed with sticks attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in police.

Reacting to the tense situation, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that violence is completely against the tradition and culture of the university.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed shock over the incident and claimed it was a "reflection of fear" that "fascists in control of our nation" have of the students.

"The brutal attack on JNU students and teachers by masked thugs, that has left many seriously injured, is shocking. The fascists in control of our nation, are afraid of the voices of our brave students. Today's violence in JNU is a reflection of that fear," he said in a tweet.

BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said violence in any form needs to be condemned but added that it is equally important to note that a certain group of people in JNU subscribe to a "mindset that calls for dismemberment of India and considers death sentence of a known terrorist by the Supreme Court to be an act of murder".

These people are often called "tukde tukde gang", he said, and added, "obviously their ideology can't be one of peace. It must be ascertained as to what is their specific role in this culture of violence, especially in this specific incident today."

BJP and its affiliates refer to groups with alleged sympathy with Maoists and Islamists as "tukde tukde gang". The Left-controlled JNUSU and the ABVP, which is affiliated to the Hindutva group RSS, blamed each other for the violence that continued for nearly two hours.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said reports point to a collusion between the administration and "goons" of ABVP to inflict violence on students and teachers. It is a planned attack by those in power, which is afraid of the resistance provided by the JNU to its Hindutva agenda, he said.

Congress leader P Chidambaram noted that visuals of violence were captured in videos that showed masked men entering JNU hostels and attacking students. "If it is happening on live TV, it is an act of impunity and can only happen with the support of the government. This is beyond belief," he said.

Meanwhile, Union home minister Amit Shah called up Delhi police to take stock of situation, while the HRD ministry has sought an immediate report from JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar.

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