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Protests make ripples across country

By January 7, 2020No Comments

Mamata condemns ‘fascist surgical strike’ in JNU; Uddhav Thackeray reassures students in Maharashtra

The Chief Ministers of the States ruled by rival parties of the BJP and eminent personalities decried the attack on students and faculty of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) by masked goons on Sunday evening. Protest marches were held at several campuses across the country on Monday to express solidarity with JNU students.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray compared the JNU violence with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and said, “ Students are feeling unsafe in the country. I will not allow anything like JNU to happen in Maharashtra.” Maharashtra Minister Jitendra Awhad had joined an overnight protest by students at the Gateway of India.

Calling the attack a “fascist surgical strike”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged students to “unite and fight together against the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre”. Harking back to her days as a student leader, the Trinamool chief cited the situation in JNU, Aligarh Muslim University and “even Visva-Bharati” to illustrate what she called a “dangerous planned attack on democracy”.

Ms. Banerjee’s Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik also condemned the attack, tweeting that violence has no space in democracy and such attacks on students must be condemned unequivocally. The Biju Janata Dal leader appealed to the law enforcement agencies to take stiff action to apprehend the culprits. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of the Congress called the violence “barbaric and atrocious” and said the situation in JNU is clearly out of hand. Tagging Delhi Police in a tweet, he said it cannot remain a silent spectator to the mayhem unleashed by a handful of goons in the premier university.

Nobel laureate and JNU alumnus Abhijit Banerjee also recalled the Nazi violence in Germany, telling News18.com that the incident “has too many echoes of the years when Germany was moving towards Nazi rule”. The MIT professor called upon the Modi government to establish the truth of what happened in JNU. Top industrialists such as Anand Mahindra, Harsh Mariwala and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, actors Alia Bhatt, Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and sportspersons including former India opener and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir were among those who condemned the attacks.

A day later, anger over the JNU violence resonated in universities across the country. In the second protest within 24 hours, hundreds of students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) took out a ‘Tiranga Yatra’ to condemn the attack. At Panjab University, some students disrupted the address of Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta at a seminar and shouted slogans against the RSS, ABVP and BJP.

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