Demanding strictest of action against the perpetrators of the violent mayhem in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), irrespective of their political affiliation or ideology, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday asked the Centre and the Delhi Governments to stop indulging in blame games over the issue, and ensure urgent restoration of law and order in the country’s premier university.
The Chief Minister lamented the unprecedented attacks and clashes witnessed in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Jamia Milia University and JNU in recent weeks, saying these incidents had not just marred the country’s international image but had caused irrevocable damaged to its education system – one of the key pillars of any nation’s progress and development.
In a hard-hitting statement that blamed the Central Government, the Delhi Government as well as the Delhi Police for the unbridled and vicious attacks on students in JNU last night, Captain Amarinder said such unruly scenes were unparalleled in independent India.
“Where was the Delhi Police when armed goons had a free run of the university campus, indulging in brutal attacks on students, staff and teachers?” he asked. “Why did the police force, which had been ruthless in its actions when trouble had broken out in Jamia some days back, suddenly decide to stay back in the case of JNU? Whose orders were they acting on?” he demanded to know.
Captain Amarinder was also unsparing in his criticism of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was nowhere to be seen while JNU was virtually burning. “How could he not rush to the spot? Was it enough for him to simply tweet his anguish?
As chief minister, and more importantly as someone who claims to be the custodian of the welfare of Delhi’s citizens, why did he not intervene personally?” the Punjab Chief Minister asked angrily.
The shocking lawlessness that emerged from JNU last night made a mockery of India’s claim to be a mature democracy, and marked the total failure of every institution responsible for the safety of the people of Delhi, said Captain Amarinder, lashing out at the BJP-led government at the Centre, the AAP government in Delhi and the Delhi Police, who stood as mute spectators while India’s future was under such a brazen and shameless assault.
Endorsing the demand raised by some individuals for the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognizance of the developments in JNU, the Chief Minister said it was necessary to identify and act against not just the assailants behind what appeared to be a pre-planned attack but also those who became co-conspirators by virtue of allowing it to continue unabated.
If this kind of incident goes unpunished in the national capital, one can only imagine what could happen in educational institutions in other parts of the country, he warned.
Captain Amarinder said such an attack on students in an educational institution marks an ugly turn for the nation, which, if unchecked, could trigger India’s eventual downfall from its exalted position as a global symbol of democracy and upholder of the law.
“Is this the nation for which our freedom fighters gave up their lives? Is it the country of which our forefathers and grandfathers laid the foundation stone with their blood and sweat?” he asked.
The Chief Minister called upon all like-minded people to rise to the occasion and fight against the forces that were hell-bent on destroying India’s glorious status as a progressive and liberal democracy, founded on the Constitutional principles of unity, amity and secularism.