• More to JNU Controversy Than Meets the Eye, Say Ex-ABVP Members

    “The event was primarily meant to spark outrage and shift focus from the lack of response by the ABVP on the question of the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula.”

    Sumedha Pal

    January 17, 2019

    “JNU is being used as a football by the BJP, as they are nervous with months to go for the general elections,” said Pradeep Narwal, an ex-ABVP member, who resigned from the organisation back in 2016, following the February 9 controversy in which anti-India slogans were allegedly chanted.

    Narwal, along with Jatin Goraya, another ex-ABVP member, held a press conference in Delhi today, questioning the timing of the filing of the chargesheet by the Delhi Police, which has named student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya along with eight Kashmiri students, this week. The two stated, “We conducted a press conference three years ago, and today we felt the need to do so again so that truth prevails, and the false media trials are called out.”

    Calling the February 9 incident a “premeditated attack by the ABVP and the RSS”, the two said, “The event was primarily meant to spark outrage and shift focus from the lack of response by the ABVP on the question of the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula.” Narwal added, “Vemula committed suicide following the nexus of harassment run by the ABVP in the Hyderabad Central University. Post its failure to confront these issues, it wanted to distract focus.”

    Goraya said, “As Dalit students, we were asked to project a good Dalit-bad Dalit narrative, and state that he (Rohith) was involved in anti-India activities, to which we dissented.” The two added that Vemula’s anniversary is tomorrow – January 17 – which makes the timing of the chargesheet even more questionable, given the strong Dalit resurgence against the ruling BJP. Narwal added, “Yet again, the binary of anti-national vs the true national is being created to shift focus from the real issues of unemployment, farmers’ distress with barely three months to go before the election.”

    Referring to the video – which shows the chanting of anti-national slogans such as Pakistan Zindabad (Long live Pakistan) – the two said, “Being from the unit, we know for a fact that those seen in the video are indeed ABVP members. However, we can’t name them for security reasons.”

    Narwal added, “We believe that the video is doctored. If it is not, then why are the student leaders attacked, and not those who were seen chanting anti-India slogans?” The two came down heavily on the media trial of the student leaders, naming Zee News and Sudhir Chaudhary. They said, “Perhaps Zee does not know that the students seen sloganeering in the highly circulated video are from the ABVP.”

    The ex-members also revealed the nature of the premeditated controversy by stating that Zee Newswas present on the campus even before the event started, and further alleged that there is a “war room” in JNU where professors and supporters of the RSS-BJP have planned attacks on the students.


     

    First published in Newsclick.

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