Four days after the charge sheet was issued against the students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University for allegedly raising anti-India slogans, two ex-ABVP students alleged that it wasn’t Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, but the members of the RSS-affiliated student wing who shouted ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, in the doctored videos. But right after the news about this broke, the ABVP has pooh-poohed the allegations saying that it was all part of the Congress’ larger game and that Rahul Gandhi is trying to defend Kanhaiya and Co.
Former JNU ABVP Unit Vice-President Jatin Goraiya and former joint-secretary Pradeep Narwal, on Thursday, alleged that ABVP students are seen in the video — the one that was found to be doctored. They asked why those students had not been called by the police for investigation. The duo subsequently left the organisation.
Pradeep Narwal said that his current political membership does not matter and what is important was that he was a member of the ABVP when the events unfolded. “It doesn’t matter if I’m a member of the Congress party or the Communist party. We resigned from the ABVP because we were against the whole media trial. We wanted the court to decide who was wrong and give the verdict,” he says, adding that the ABVP, media and the Delhi Police have no right to predict the verdict. “Even when I was a member of the ABVP, I was against media trials. This isn’t anything new,” says this JNU alumnus.
The ABVP claims that the dissident duois now part of the Congress. “There is no evidence to support their claims. It is all a strategy to support Rahul Gandhi and the ‘gang’ (JNU Students),” says Ashish Chauhan, National General Secretary, ABVP. “The videos and the mobiles with the original videos are in the police custody, which can be checked to find out who said what. This is a Congress campaign, not to malign ABVP, but to defend Rahul Gandhi,” he adds.
But how is Rahul Gandhi involved in the JNU issue, we wondered. Chauhan answers this metaphorically, comparing the students to the Naga Takshak and Rahul Gandhi to Lord Indra, who tried protecting the serpent, in the Mahabharata. “Rahul Gandhi and his party are supporting and protecting them. Umar Khalid was recently a guest in the All India Professionals’ Congress’ event in Hyderabad. He is flying down to Mumbai on the 19th to attend their event. We all know that the organisation is headed by Shashi Tharoor,” he says.