Students, teachers protest in New Delhi after nationalist violence

NEW DELHI - Students, journalists and teachers protested in the Indian capital Tuesday after a student union leader's arrest and subsequent violence by Hindu nationalists.

See Full Article

The uproar has once again sparked allegations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party are displaying intolerance and cracking down on political dissent in the name of patriotism.

Police cordons blocked right-wing Hindus from entering the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University, where thousands of students have been protesting for days.

Police also arrested Delhi University lecturer S.A.R. Geelani before dawn. He and JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar are accused of sedition for participating in events where slogans against India allegedly were shouted along with criticism against the 2013 secret hanging of a Kashmiri separatist convicted of attacking Parliament.

Few JNU students attended classes in New Delhi on Monday. Later, mobs of lawyers and BJP supporters attacked students outside the courthouse where Kumar was appearing.

The BJP supporters called the reporters and students anti-nationals, and demanded they leave India and go to archrival Pakistan. Police said they were investigating allegations from both sides.

Human Resource Minister Smriti Irani told reporters that "the nation can never tolerate an insult to Mother India." The home minister, Rajnath Singh, tweeted that anyone shouting anti-India slogans "will not be tolerated or spared."

Singh also accused Pakistani Hafiz Saeed of orchestrating the anti-India slogans, which the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group dismissed in a YouTube video.

"The Indian minister is misleading his own people and the world" in trying to blame Pakistan for its problems, says Saeed, who is wanted in India and the United States for his alleged role in the 2009 attacks in Mumbai.

An editorial in The Indian Express said the home minister's "invoking Hafiz Saeed to corner students is divisive and dangerous."

Protests against the 2013 hanging of separatist Afzal Guru occur regularly in India's portion of Kashmir, where many among the region's Muslim majority believe he was not given a fair trial.

On Tuesday, students and JNU teachers protested inside the university campus to demand Kumar's release. Academics at foreign universities extended support.

"As teachers, students, and scholars across the world, we are watching with extreme concern the situation unfolding at JNU and refuse to remain silent as our colleagues (students, staff, and faculty) resist the illegal detention and autocratic suspension of students," said a statement posted on a blog run by academics and signed by 455 scholars, many of them JNU alumni of Indian descent.

Most university classes were still suspended, according to PhD science student Pamchui, who goes by one name.

"I am feeling safer now, as there is security outside the campus," she said by telephone from inside the campus.

Journalists also marched through central New Delhi, after several reported they were attacked while trying to cover Monday's protests. Journalist unions accused police of standing by during the attacks.


Associated Press writer Chonchui Ngashangva contributed to this report.


Latest Canada & World News

  • More babies born to women over 40 than teenagers: Stats Canada

    Canada News CBC News
    When Canadian mothers head to the park with their children today, they tend to look older than their counterparts a few decades ago. Sometimes a lot older. More babies are being born to women between the ages of 40 and 49 than to teen moms, according to new numbers from Statistics Canada. Source
  • Cost-cutting helps Suncor turn surprising $392M profit in 3rd quarter

    Canada News CBC News
    Suncor reported a $392 million net profit in the third quarter of the year, well exceeding some analyst expectations of a loss. Canada's largest energy company says that it pulled cash operating costs per barrel of oil down by 18 per cent over the past year to $22.15. Source
  • Adopted and brought to U.S., South Korean man to be deported 37 years later

    World News CTV News
    SALEM, Ore. -- A South Korean man flown to the U.S. 37 years ago and adopted by an American couple at age 3 has been ordered deported back to a country that is completely alien to him. Source
  • Interpreters attacked after embassy protest [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It upset me very much to hear our brave interpreters were attacked while peacefully demonstrating in front of the Canadian Embassy in Afghanistan on Wednesday. Who were those gun-toting thugs in Kabul who punched out and threatened our hero Afghan interpreters? Did the Canadian Embassy do anything to help? Source
  • How can prison warden overrule parole board?

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A prison warden has overruled the Parole Board of Canada and now two-time killer Greg Ashford is being released next month on temporary passes into the community for the first time — and without any restrictions on his fraternization with women. Source
  • Theft of $2,000 watch among hundreds of items stolen from government, accounts show

    Canada News CBC News
    Global Affairs is beefing up security around its collection of gifts presented to Canadian government officials after a thief made off with a valuable watch worth an estimated $2,000, CBC News has learned. The department says it does not expect to recover the watch. Source
  • Tiny dog needs life-saving surgery to remove a porcupine quill from its heart

    Canada News CTV News
    A rescued dog is fighting for its life after a violent encounter with a porcupine that left a quill stuck inside its heart. Hershey was out for a walk with her owner and some canine pals when she crossed paths with the prickly rodent. Source
  • Man, linked to organized crime, shot in car, crashes it into house [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A 44-year-old Burnaby man was blasted in a targeted shooting early Wednesday, causing his car to crash into a house in the 5900-block of Broadway. RCMP Sgt. Annie Linteau said police received multiple 911 calls about the shooting. Source
  • Sex and politics a potent mix

    World News Toronto Sun
    Sex and politics have always been bedfellows. Think of JFK, Pierre Trudeau, Bill Clinton. Try not to think of Anthony Weiner and his selfies. But never before have sex and politics commingled as explosively as in the current U.S. Source
  • Obama speaks with Turkey's president about ISIS fight

    World News CTV News
    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a rally in Gaziantep, Turkey, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. (Yasin Bulbul, Presidential Press Service, Pool via AP) Source