18 February 2016

Protests against India student leader's arrest spread

Students, teachers and supporters of four leftist student organizations walk in a procession protesting against the arrest of a student union leader of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University in Kolkata, India, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Dozens of lawyers, many with links to India's ruling nationalist party, clashed Wednesday with protesters demanding the release of the student leader arrested under India's colonial-era sedition laws.
A protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across India on Thursday, with students and teachers in at least 10 cities demanding the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges and accused of being anti-Indian.

The protesters were outraged by nationally televised scenes of Kanhaiya Kumar, the student union president at Jawaharlal Nehru University, being kicked and punched while he was escorted to a court hearing Wednesday, renewing allegations that the Hindu nationalist governing party is intolerant.

 

He was arrested last Friday over his participation in events where anti-India slogans were allegedly shouted. A New Delhi court has ordered him to stay in custody for two weeks. The court will hear his bail plea on Friday.
 

The demands for the student's freedom in the Indian capital were met by mobs of Hindu nationalists, including many lawyers, attacking students and accusing them of being anti-Indian.
 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party and other Hindu groups accuse left-wing student groups of anti-nationalism because of their criticism of the 2013 execution of a Kashmiri separatist convicted of an attack on Parliament.
 

Kumar's treatment and attacks on teachers who supported him have triggered allegations that the Modi government and the BJP are cracking down on political dissent in the name of patriotism.

Soon after the protests began, India's Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that anyone shouting anti-India slogans "will not be tolerated or spared."
 

The violence by lawyers occurred despite the Supreme Court ordering the police to ensure security in the court and has drawn wide criticism of the lawyers and police.
A member of National Students Union of India is detained by police during a protest by them in support of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Kumar, the president of the students' union at the country's premier Jawaharlal Nehru University has been in prison since Friday on charges of sedition.

 

"Such a deliberate obstruction of justice amounts to constitutional contempt and cannot go unpunished," said Maja Daruwala of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.
 

The Bar Council of India said it had appointed a three-member panel to investigate the violence by lawyers.
 

"We are going to take a strong action against them," Council president Manan Kumar Mishra said. "We are going to punish the lawyers if they are found guilty," he said before apologizing on behalf of the lawyer community.

On Thursday, students in at least 10 Indian cities marched through the streets and denounced Kumar's arrest.
 

In New Delhi, thousands of students, professors and journalists gathered in the center of the city. They carried flowers as a sign of peace, Indian flags and placards saying, "Free Speech under attack" and "Just because I don't agree, doesn't mean I am an anti-national."
 

Police said the rally was not authorized, but allowed the march to proceed to a central space used frequently for public protests.
 

In the southern city of Chennai, 40 students were arrested after they clashed with police.
 

In Kolkata, police were on alert as two groups of students held rival rallies in the Jadavpur University campus. Student groups affiliated with the BJP demanded strict action against Kumar and others who they accused of being anti-Indian.

(AP)
Indian paramilitary force soldiers stand guard outside a Delhi court, before Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of the students' union at the country's premier Jawaharlal Nehru University is produced in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Dozens of lawyers, many with links to India's ruling nationalist party, clashed Wednesday with protesters demanding the release of the student leader arrested under India's colonial-era sedition laws.
Indian paramilitary force soldiers stand guard outside a Delhi court, before Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of the students' union at the country's premier Jawaharlal Nehru University is produced in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Dozens of lawyers, many with links to India's ruling nationalist party, clashed Wednesday with protesters demanding the release of the student leader arrested under India's colonial-era sedition laws.          
An Indian lawyer shouts slogans before Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of the students' union at the country's premier Jawaharlal Nehru University is produced at a Delhi court, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Dozens of lawyers, many with links to India's ruling nationalist party, clashed Wednesday with protesters demanding the release of the student leader arrested under India's colonial-era sedition laws.
An Indian lawyer shouts slogans before Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of the students' union at the country's premier Jawaharlal Nehru University is produced at a Delhi court, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Dozens of lawyers, many with links to India's ruling nationalist party, clashed Wednesday with protesters demanding the release of the student leader arrested under India's colonial-era sedition laws.
Indian journalists hold placards during a protest against attack on journalists in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. On Monday, mobs of lawyers and Bharatiya Janata Party supporters attacked students and journalists outside a Delhi court where a university student leader arrested under colonial-era sedition laws was appearing. Again on Wednesday, about a dozen lawyers threw rocks at reporters and protesters at the same court.
Indian journalists hold placards during a protest against attack on journalists in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. On Monday, mobs of lawyers and Bharatiya Janata Party supporters attacked students and journalists outside a Delhi court where a university student leader arrested under colonial-era sedition laws was appearing. Again on Wednesday, about a dozen lawyers threw rocks at reporters and protesters at the same court.
Indian students wave Indian flags and shout slogans during a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students wave Indian flags and shout slogans during a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students carry flowers and hold Indian national flags as a sign of peace during a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students carry flowers and hold Indian national flags as a sign of peace during a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students carry flowers and hold an Indian national flag as a sign of peace during a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students carry flowers and hold an Indian national flag as a sign of peace during a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
An Indian student carries a flower and holds a poster during a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University or JNU against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
An Indian student carries a flower and holds a poster during a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University or JNU against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students wave an Indian flag and shout slogans during a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students wave an Indian flag and shout slogans during a protest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Students, teachers and supporters of left parties protest against the arrest of a student union leader of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University outside Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Students, teachers and supporters of left parties protest against the arrest of a student union leader of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University outside Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
An Indian student sports a head band with a slogan written on it during a protest against the arrest of a student union leader of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Bangalore, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
An Indian student sports a head band with a slogan written on it during a protest against the arrest of a student union leader of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Bangalore, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students and others hold placards as they listen to a speaker during a protest against the arrest of a student union leader of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Bangalore, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students and others hold placards as they listen to a speaker during a protest against the arrest of a student union leader of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Bangalore, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students, teachers and journalists protest against the arrest of a student union leader, Kanhaiya Kumar, whose portrait is seen on the right, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Indian students, teachers and journalists protest against the arrest of a student union leader, Kanhaiya Kumar, whose portrait is seen on the right, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Students, teachers and supporters assemble for a protest against the arrest of a student union leader of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, outside Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
Students, teachers and supporters assemble for a protest against the arrest of a student union leader of New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, outside Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.        
Supporters and activists of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), take out a protest rally against left parties and alleged anti-nationalist students, in Kolkata, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. The protest was against a section of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University students and their supporters at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, who during programs earlier this week, described the execution of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as "judicial killing.” The posters read: "Rally against Jadavpur's anti national leftist organization," "Save India rally" and "Rally against the anti-nationalism of communists."
Supporters and activists of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), take out a protest rally against left parties and alleged anti-nationalist students, in Kolkata, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. The protest was against a section of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University students and their supporters at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, who during programs earlier this week, described the execution of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as "judicial killing.” The posters read: "Rally against Jadavpur's anti national leftist organization," "Save India rally" and "Rally against the anti-nationalism of communists."
An Indian student carries a poster as she sits in a bus to join other protesters at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.
An Indian student carries a poster as she sits in a bus to join other protesters at the Jawaharlal Nehru University against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges.         
Activists from the youth wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party burn an effigy of anti-nationalist students during a protest in Jammu, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. The protest was against a section of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University students who during a program earlier this week described the execution of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as "judicial killing.” The banner in local language reads: "Arrest the supporters of Afzal Guru."
Activists from the youth wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party burn an effigy of anti-nationalist students during a protest in Jammu, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. The protest was against a section of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University students who during a program earlier this week described the execution of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru as "judicial killing.” The banner in local language reads: "Arrest the supporters of Afzal Guru."  
Indian students, teachers and journalists gather for a protest against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges. The placard in the background reads: "Will not tolerate attack on democracy."
Indian students, teachers and journalists gather for a protest against the arrest of a student union leader in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Scenes of protest that rocked a New Delhi university this week spread across the country Thursday, with students and teachers from cities including Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai joining demands for the release of a student leader arrested on sedition charges. The placard in the background reads: "Will not tolerate attack on democracy."

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