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.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Husband of Spain's princess avoids jail while awaiting appeal

    World News CTV News
    MADRID -- The brother-in-law of Spain's King Felipe will avoid imprisonment but must show up in court in Switzerland, where he lives, once per month while he waits for the Supreme Court to rule on an appeal to a fraud and tax evasion guilty verdict. Source
  • Pakistani official: Explosion kills 8 in city of Lahore

    World News CTV News
    LAHORE, Pakistan -- Explosives in a building under construction ignited Thursday, ripping through a market in an upscale neighbourhood in the eastern city of Lahore, killing eight people, officials said. It was not immediately clear whether the explosives were meant to be a bomb or were merely stored in the building. Source
  • Winning numbers drawn for $435-million Powerball jackpot

    World News CTV News
    DES MOINES, Iowa -- The winning Powerball numbers have been drawn for the jackpot that's climbed above $400 million for the first time in nearly three months. The numbers are 10-13-28-52-61 and Powerball 2. Source
  • 'These Percs have destroyed Kanata': Teen talks about deadly counterfeit drugs [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Cole Nicholls reaches down and picks up a pebble on the carpet when asked the question: Why are counterfeit pharmaceuticals so dangerous? Many parents in Ottawa are looking for the answer to that question after a 14-year-old Kanata girl, Chloe Kotval, died on Feb. Source
  • Children's author's partner jailed 34 years for her murder

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- The partner of children's author Helen Bailey has been sentenced to at least 34 years in prison for murdering her and dumping her body in a cesspool at their home. Judge Andrew Bright told Ian Stewart it was "difficult to imagine a more heinous crime. Source
  • Grandfather wanted custody of toddler who died in care, fatality inquiry hears

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A provincial court judge says she doesn't understand why the grandfather of a toddler who died in foster care wasn't given a chance to take custody. "I just don't understand why the grandfather wasn't considered," said Judge Ferne LeReverend in an Edmonton courtroom Wednesday. Source
  • Ontario police to reveal details of guns and drugs probe

    Canada News CTV News
    VAUGHAN, Ont. - Police say they'll be giving details of a lengthy drugs and guns investigation at news conference today in Vaughan, Ont. Ontario Provincial Police say the international investigation involved the distribution of drugs and firearms. Source
  • Officials plead with last Standing Rock protesters to leave

    World News CBC News
    Public officials in North Dakota pleaded with the remaining protesters at the Dakota Access oil pipeline camp to pack up and leave so authorities can resume cleaning up the premises without any further arrests. Most of the campers marched out of the area ahead of Wednesday's 2 p.m. Source
  • Mexican foreign minister slams Trump's deportation policy ahead of meeting

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Mexico's mounting unease and resentment over U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration crackdown are looming over a gathering of U.S. and Mexican leaders that the U.S. had hoped would project a strong future for relations between neighbours. Source
  • Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor charged with sexual assault

    World News CTV News
    LANSING, Mich. - A Michigan sports doctor who treated elite female U.S. gymnasts was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting nine girls, including some too reluctant to speak up about the alleged abuse years ago because he was considered a "god. Source