Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju says the Congress and the Left orchestrated the violence at JNU and at the courts. He spoke to Meetu Jain. Excerpts:
On l’afffaire JNU: There are two issues. The raising of anti-India slogans where sedition charges have been framed. And a law and order situation at the courts. If there are lapses on the part of the police, corrective steps must be taken. We cannot protect anybody if there has been an attack, whether on journalists or others.
On sedition case: It is before the public. We are not taking action on the basis of our intention. It is on the basis of an actual incident. The students fraudulently obtained permission. They said it is a cultural evening, did not mention Afzal Guru. Slogans were followed by incitement of the crowd. This is inciting violence. Their conduct was not proper.
On whether students had a hidden agenda: Democratic Students’ Union of India is a front organisation of the CPI (Maoists), a reformed name of MCC. Maoists pick up arms. The students don’t, but the ageNDA of Maoists, separatists and people like Hafeez Saeed is not different. The ideology is the same. Hafeez says Afzal Guru is their hero. Who is the chairman of Committee for Release of Political Prisoners? S.A.R. Geelani.
On bid to saffronise JNU campus: It is the opposite. They want to convert JNU into a centre of anti-national activity. That should not be allowed to happen.
On BJP’s alliance with PDP in Kashmir: There is nothing to compare between the PDP and rowdy elements at JNU. True, Mehbooba Mufti and her party do not agree with the judicial pronouncement on hanging Afzal Guru. I have no problem with that. Has Mehbooba said India should be broken into pieces? We can differ on freedom of expression but don’t abuse the nation.
On HRD diktat for national flags at universities: It should be a matter of pride to hoist the tricolour. In France, China, US they hoist the flag on campuses. What is wrong with that?
On Delhi Police report that JNU students eat beef, pray to Mahishasur: The police has quoted this in its report. There is no reason not to believe what the police is saying.