JNU Sedition Row: Ex-ABVP Members Claim Those Raising “Anti-National” Slogans In Video Were From ABVP
Days after the Delhi police filed a 1,200-page chargesheet against the ten people in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) sedition row, there is a new twist in the case. On January 14, police named former JNU Union President Kanhaiya Kumar, student activists Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya along with seven others in the chargesheet for allegedly raising “anti-national slogans” during an event that took place in JNU campus on February 9, 2016. Just two days after that two former JNU students – then JNU ABVP unit vice-president Jatin Goraiya and then joint-secretary Pradeep Narwal in a press conference claimed that the students present in the video that was shown by a news channel allegedly raising “anti-national” slogans were ABVP members or sympathisers.
According to The Indian Express, on Wednesday, Narwal and Goraiya who had resigned from the ABVP back in 2016, following the February 9 controversy spoke at the press conference in which they claimed that the entire controversy that took place in February 9 was “planned” by the student outfit to divert the public attention from Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide.
‘They wanted us to defame Vemula’
They claimed that Vemula, a former student of Hyderabad Central University, had committed suicide following the nexus of harassment run by the ABVP in his college. Blaming BJP for the issue, they said that “JNU is being used as a football by the BJP party, as they are nervous with months to go for the general elections,” reported the News Click.
The two called the February 9 incident a “premeditated attack by the ABVP and the RSS”. About their resignation from the ABVP party the duo said that as both of them are Dalits, three years ago during the time of the controversy, they were repeatedly told to appear on TV interviews and defend ABVP.
Goraiya added that they were asked to project a “good Dalit-bad Dalit narrative”. He also said that they were also asked to state that he(Rohith) was involved in anti-India activities, to which they dissented.
He further claimed that before the February 9 event, that sparked outrage against a few JNU students, the JNU ABVP WhatsApp group was discussing and planning on how to “blow up the incident”.
Timing of the chargesheet raises questions
While raising the questions on the timing of the chargesheet the duo also added that January 17 is Vemula’s anniversary and police chargesheet at this time raises questions.
Narwal added that a “binary of anti-national vs the true national is being created” in order to shift focus from the real issues which include unemployment and farmers’ distress. And it is being done right before the elections as to evade public questions on these issues.
The two who had also done a press conference three years ago claim that they are again holding a press conference as they felt the need to do so that “truth prevails, and the false media trials are called out.”
The truth about the Zee news video
Talking about the video Narwal added that they believe that the video that was telecasted on Zee news was doctored. They said that “Perhaps Zee does not know that the students seen sloganeering in the highly circulated video are from the ABVP.” They also criticised that media trial that was done against selected JNU students.
Meanwhile, former JNUSU joint-secretary Saurabh Sharma from the ABVP has refuted Narwal and Goraiya claims. He said, “They have joined the Congress and the press conference was organised on the directions of Rahul Gandhi, who wants to divert the issue with these lies and propaganda.”
While Narwal has joined the Congress, Goraiya is not a member of the party, reports The Indian Express.