Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone visits JNU campus in solidarity with students and teachers who were attacked by masked miscreants on Sunday | PTI
Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone visits JNU campus in solidarity with students and teachers who were attacked by masked miscreants on Sunday | PTI
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New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are going all-out to support Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar — who is facing severe criticism for the violence that broke out on the campus Sunday —  while calling for a boycott of actor Deepika Padukone’s movies after her visit to the campus Tuesday evening.

Padukone, whose movie Chhapaak is scheduled for release on 10 January, went to JNU to express solidarity with the students who were beaten up in the violence. She was spotted standing behind Aishe Ghosh, the JNUSU president, who was injured in Sunday’s masked mob attack.

Following the actor’s visit, Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga asked people on Twitter to boycott her movies for supporting the “tukde tukde gang”.

Two BJP leaders, B.L. Santhosh, who is the party’s general secretary (organisation), and South Delhi MP Ramesh Bidhuri, retweeted Bagga’s tweet.

Santosh has been all-praise for the JNU V-C. In a tweet Wednesday, he wrote, “He is the VC of #JNU … The third most hated person by left liberals of this country … Here he is bound by his duty amidst the vandalism to prevent him from discharging his duties  … You deserve a bow Sir.”

Another BJP leader, Jay Prakash Majumdar, who is the vice-president of Bengal BJP, also extended support to Kumar.

Kumar, who became the JNU V-C in 2016, has been severely criticised by faculty and students for his handling of the fee hike issue that started last year in October. And, now, after Sunday’s campus violence, calls for his removal have grown louder.

The HRD ministry in a note sent to the PMO in November last year had said that V-C Kumar had “come with an agenda to change the character of the university”.

The November note was sent by the ministry to apprise the PMO of the situation following the fee hike protests.

The HRD ministry had said, “The V-C of the university has come with an agenda to change the character of the university. Whereas it may be required in many cases, the change should have been calibrated and brought-in through more innocuous means.”


Also read: For headline-manager Amit Shah, JNU violence is a gift that distracts from CAA protests


JNU violence came when ‘anti-CAA protests lost steam’

On the JNU violence, BJP leader Santosh said it came at a time when anti-Citizenship Act protests were losing momentum.

“Students had started enrolling. The strike was on the wane. Anti CAA protests losing steam. All of a sudden violence in #JNU. The usual brigade is on the roll. Cong leaders visiting injured. Well rehearsed…well-coordinated,” he tweeted on 6 January.

Santosh’s tweets on the JNU attack stand in contrast to what BJP ministers have said on the issue.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, both alumni of JNU, have condemned the violence in unequivocal terms.

 

The BJP from its official Twitter handle had also condemned the attack on 5 January, the day when the violence broke out, saying “universities should remain places of learning and education”.


Also read: ‘Come with statements, footage, picture’ — Delhi Police wants information on JNU violence


 

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