Thursday was a much more peaceful day compared to Wednesday.
To recap: Delhi Police officers stood as mute spectators as men in black robes, who are supposed to uphold the law, broke it in broad daylight in front of national media. Lawless lawyers beat up a Firstpost journalist and JNU students' union leader Kanhaiya Kumar when he was being taken to the court for the hearing in his sedition case.
The newspapers on Thursday said it all:
Kanhaiya Kumar moved Supreme Court seeking bail. Reports said that the matter will be heard on Friday. Senior lawyer Raju Ramachandran filed the bail petition on behalf of Kanhaiya on Thursday. ANI quoted Ramachandran as saying, "Now Soli Sorabjee will lead us."
In his application, the JNUSU?president sought protection of “life and limb”, saying there is “great likelihood of attack on him in prison”.
— rocky soibam (@rocky_soibam) February 18, 2016
Supreme Court-appointed panel of advocates submitted their report and pen drive containing mobile clip of their visit to the Patiala House court complex on Wednesday. Senior advocate Ajit K Sinha, panel member and Delhi Police counsel, however, did not sign on the report, saying he can't do it without going through it. Delhi High Court Registry also filed a report in the Supreme Court in a sealed cover about Wednesday's incident.
Thursday turned out to be the day of discussions. Starting from Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal, who met with President Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the ongoing crisis at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Rahul Gandhi said the JNU row and the violence in Patiala House court on Wednesday were a "blot" on India's image. "It is not the government's job to destroy institutions.... Bad signals have been sent out in India and abroad. It is a blot on the country's image," he said.
Taking the battle against the Centre to President Pranab Mukhejree, Rahul said RSS was trying to impose its "flawed" and "dead" ideology on the students of the country but his party will not allow it.
Speaking to the media after submitting a memorandum to the President, he also referred to the suicide by Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad and accused the Hindutva organisation of "crushing" him.
— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) February 18, 2016
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also met with President Mukherjee and asked, "What is this absence of rule of law? How can anybody beat a person who raises pro-Pakistan slogans?"
"This govt cannot catch four to five students who made those anti-national slogans, how will they catch who did the Pathankot attacks?" However, Kejriwal agreed that action should be taken against those who made anti-national slogans.
In a show of solidarity for Kanhaiya Kumar, JNU students protested with flowers as a mark of peace during their march from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar. Delhi police said that the students did not take permission for this protest march in central Delhi area. T-shirts with messages like 'Mera Yaar Kanhaiya" were being sold for Rs 150 at the JNU students protest march from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar.
— Shradha Chettri (@Shrads_chettri) February 18, 2016
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 18, 2016
Meanwhile, bar council president MC Mishra apologised to the media, a day after a mob of lawyers thrashed Firspost reporter Tarique Anwar and punched Kanhaiya Kumar outside the Patiala House Courts in Delhi. This was the second such incident of lawyer violence in two days, after the same group of lawyers beat up students and reporters on Monday.
The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it is keeping a close eye on the law and order situation in Patiala House court a day after Kanhaiya was "manhandled" while being produced in court. “We are keeping an eye on law and order in Patiala House court; everyone should be careful while giving statements,” the SC said.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was critical of the Delhi Police's inaction on Wednesday as well.
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 18, 2016
Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said that the people are free to criticise the government but cannot abuse the nation. In a Facebook post, Rijiju said a group of people in JNU have taken a "despicable vow to break India into pieces" and declared Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as their hero.
He said a group of politicians have defended the actions of "these anti-national elements". "As an Indian, the foremost requirement is allegiance to the unity and integrity of India. Anyone can criticise the government but don't abuse the nation," he said.
The Minister of State for Home said despite massive condemnation from patriotic citizens, they are still proud of their "atrocious act". "These people are so firmly indoctrinated in their ideology that their hatred for India is subsumed in their freedom of expression. I won't succeed in making them patriotic citizens," he said.
Rijiju said there is just one solution left to this issue and such "pseudo students and politicians" should live with the soldiers in 16,000 feet altitude for one year or see the conditions of the widows of martyrs who gave their lives for the nation.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the Delhi Police for their failure to prevent the attack on Kanhaiya Kumar in the Patiala House Court premises.
Arrested JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar on Wednesday told metropolitan magistrate Lovleen, during his remand proceedings, that he condemns what happened on 9 February, 2016, on JNU campus and appealed to everyone not to disturb the peace of the country, society and institution.
"I believe in the Constitution of India. I condemn what happened on 9 February, 2016. After seeing the video, I got to know that some outsiders had entered JNU and along with students they were raising slogans. I don't support such sloganeering. I appeal to everyone not to disturb the peace of the country, society and institution," Kanhaiya had said.
With inputs from agencies
First Published On : Feb 18, 2016 16:56 IST