New Delhi: A poster calling for freedom for Kashmir had the Jawaharlal Nehru University administration in a tizzy on Thursday.
The solitary poster was noticed by some students on the wall of the School of Social Sciences’ new block, after which they alerted the varsity administration.
“Freedom for Kashmir! Free Palestine! Right to self-determination long live,” the poster, which appeared in the name of ultra-Left group DSU, stated. By evening, the administration had asked the university security to remove the poster.
DSU, or Democratic Students Union, is the same group whose former members Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhat tacharya and others organised a protest rally on February 9, 2016, against the hanging of Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru and Kashmiri separatist Maqbool Bhat.Alleged anti-national slogans raised during the rally had led to police slapping sedition cases on these students.
A student affiliated to a Left group, but not from DSU, said: “The poster has been there for three-four days. But this is nothing new as such posters from DSU keep emerging at the start of sessions.”
Khalid and Bhattacharya, along with former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar (from CPI-affiliated AISF) are out on bail after arrest on charges of sedition for the February 9 event.
The JNU administration has not been able to function for more 17 days due to a blockade of the administrative building by students protesting against a UGC notification which put a cap on the number of students a professor can provide guidance, resulting in seat cuts in MPhil and PhD programmes. It was only early this week that the staff got access to the building and resumed work.
According to a senior JNU official, “The university has already lost precious time and energy in unnecessary controversies. Unfortunately a small group of people are still trying to create another ruckus and vitiate the academic environment.We don’t know who put up the poster as this has been the pattern in JNU. However, the administration has asked the staff to bring it down.”
“On February 9 this year they failed to create any disturbance in JNU and so they targeted Delhi University .This poster is another attempt to destabilise JNU’s academic environment,” said Hariram Mishra, professor of Sanskrit.