New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh unleashed a political storm today with a claim that an event at JNU to protest the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru had received "support" from LeT founder Hafiz Saeed amid an escalating showdown over the crisis at the varsity.
Opposition parties demanded that the Home Minister provide proof to back up his claim on the event at the JNU campus.
In a shot in the arm for the students demanding the release of its students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who was slapped with sedition charge, teachers associations of 40 central universities extended support to the protest by the students and teachers of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU)
JNU's teachers' association also openly came out against the administration for mishandling the matter and particularly slammed it for allowing police action before completion of a probe by the university's proctorial committee in connection with the event. The teachers are backing the students.
Amid the protests and mounting outrage over police action in JNU, Rajnath said, "The incident(Afzal event) at JNU has received support from Hafiz Saeed. This is a truth that the nation needs to understand."
"What has happened is very unfortunate," Singh told reporters in Allahabad referring to an event at JNU campus to commemorate the third death anniversary of Afzal Guru.
Singh's comments about Hafiz's links with the event where anti-India slogans were allegedly raised sparked a political row with opposition parties asking him to provide evidence.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said it is a "very serious charge" to level against the students and that the evidence must be shared with all.
CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Home Minister has to come out and share the evidence he has with the country to back up his "serious allegation". CPI leader D Raja also demanded that the evidence be made public.
Rajnath's comments came two days after a series of tweets, purportedly by Saeed, had appeared under a hashtag asking Pakistanis to support the agitation in JNU.
Police are investigating as to whether the twitter handle actually belonged to the LeT founder.
Throwing its weight behind the students and teachers of JNU, President of Federation of Central University Teachers Association Nandita Narain said teachers' associations of 40 central universities including of Hyderabad University have extended support to agitation by JNU students and teaching community.
Seven of eight JNU students who were debarred from academic activities earlier this week in connection with the Afzal Guru event have been asked to appear before a high level committe of the varsity probing the matter.
Meanwhile, a video has gone viral on the social media, purportedly showing ABVP members shouting pro-Pakistan slogans. However ABVP, the students wing of BJP, rubbished the allegations, saying it is a morphed video. .
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