New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University is in the midst of a raging controversy over an event organised at the campus where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. Students purportedly involved in the event which commemorated the death of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru have been charged with sedition, with allegations ranging from terror links to foreign funding.
Amidst the chaos that has prevailed since the February 9 incident which kicked off the storm comes a claim that it takes only "Rs 100" to organise any event at the varsity.
"Various theories are being applied to probe our 'terror links' and allegations are being made that we had received foreign funding and planned meticulously for the so called anti-national event.
"The truth is that those who know the JNU culture are aware of the fact that it takes just Rs 100 to organise any event here and the same can be done without planning within an hour," said Anant Prakash Narayan, former JNUSU vice president, who is among those charged with sedition.
Ashutosh Kumar, former JNUSU President said, "Our names are being taken in court rooms and news studios. They are being screamed in Parliament. The entire country is looking at us as terrorists. But do they even know how things function in JNU and how routinely these affairs are handled?
"We do not need any funding from any terror group to have a debate on Afzal Guru. Any university needs that? We are students, we just wish to debate, question and express. The way the government and police have blown things out of proportion is an example of the intolerance in the country," he added.
Anant and Ashutosh, both PhD students at the varsity, are among the six students identified by the police for their alleged role in the February 9 during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
While the students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on February 12, the duo along with three others - Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and Rama Naga - had gone into hiding fearing "mob-lynching".
They resurfaced back on campus ten days later. While Umar and Anirban surrendered before the police, the remaining three refused to do so but maintained that they are open to questioning by police as and when needed.
They are now leading the movement along with JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora against the alleged branding of university as "anti-national".
The six students were also academically debarred by the university administration after a preliminary inquiry report by the high-level committee found their involvement in the incident.
However, they have been allowed to stay in the university hostels as guests.
(With inputs from PTI)