Protest may “aggravate resentment” among non-Left students and teachers beyond JNU

The security establishment fears that the arrest of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar could “aggravate resentment” among non-Left leaning students and teachers beyond Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

They also believe that with students’ organisations backed by different political parties, there is “every possibility of politicisation” of the issue.

In its report, the intelligence agencies said there is resentment among students in JNU as well as among teachers. It noted that the JNU Teachers Union has expressed its reservation to Vice Chancellor Jagdish Kumar regarding police presence in the campus.

The Vice Chancellor assured them that police would enter the campus only in an emergency and it would be conveyed to police.

“Despite, this assurance, aggressive protests and student unrest in Delhi, in particular at JNU, is apprehended, since the arrest of JNUSU president may aggravate resentment not only among Left supported student groups but also among entire students and teachers in various educational institutions,” the report said.

The report said a police personnel in plain clothes is already in “performing his duty” at the campus and he has been directed to keep watch over the situation.

“It will not be out of place to mention here that due to clash of ideologies, the possibility of dharna, demo or protest by ABVP, DSU and other students’ organisations can’t be ruled out against the backdrop of the incident (February 9), where different students organisations are backed by different political parties, there is every possibility of politicisation,” it said.

Following the incident involving a meeting on Afzal Guru, the IB also said that the ABVP is alleging that DSU and other Left student outfits are indulging in anti-national activities. On the other hand, other groups who had participated in the programme are alleging that their freedom of expression and right to protest is being curtailed.

The IB report also names 16 students, including Kumar, among those who were actively participating in the event.

The report also referred to two previous notes made on the students’ activities in the campus in which it had named Democratic Students Union (DSU), which agencies claim have links with Maoists, and Democratic Students Front (DSF), a breakaway group of SFI.

It also noted that Special Branch always keeps an eye on the activities of students, student organisations, youths and people “who have stake in JNU”.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Feb 17, 2016)

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