JNU sedition row created to dilute Vemula’s suicide: Ex-ABVP member
New Delhi: The chargesheet against 10 JNU students is politically motivated and the entire issue is the brain-child of the BJP, which stoked the controversy to dilute the suicide of University of Hyderabad student Rohith Vemula, a former student leader from RSS-affiliated ABVP has said.
Pradeep Narwal, who left the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) after the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) sedition row in 2016, told IANS that the entire matter is politically-motivated and that it has given a chance to certain media organisations to exploit it to serve their political masters.
“This was a media trial, then, and this is a media trial, now. The controversy was created by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to dilute the suicide of Rohith Vemula, who was forced to end his life by Bandaru Dattatreya (then Labour Minister from Telangana), who escalated the matter to the HRD Ministry, while the matter should have been dealt with at the Vice Chancellor’s level,” Narwal said.
He also suggested that certain members of the ABVP and its sympathisers were also seen among the students in the video grab which captured “Pakistan Zindabad” slogan — the slogan purported to be the heart of the sedition charge in the chargesheet — being raised.
“Hence, either the video is doctored, as I have been saying all along, or the chargesheet should also be filed against those ABVP members,” he said, adding that he was frequently threatened and abused by the ABVP members for days after his leaving the group.
Vemula committed suicide three years back on this day in his room on the University of Hyderabad campus.
In his suicide note, he had narrated how he was being victimised for coming from a low caste and how casteism was rife in the university. His death sent thousands of university students across India into agitation, who waged several protests against the “institutional discrimination” at places of higher education.
Narwal, who joined the Congress six months back, said the chargesheet has been filed to create a “narrative” before the general election on the basis of “doctored videos”.
“If due process is not followed in this case, it would be the biggest fraud on democracy,” he said.
The Delhi Police on Monday filed a chargesheet naming Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven Kashmiri students, saying anti-national slogans were raised by them at an event held at Sabarmati Dhaba on the JNU campus in February 2016.
The police have cited video footage made by ABVP members, among others, as evidence.