Delhi: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Thursday reacted strongly to the violence at Delhi University’s Ramjas College, saying “freedom of expression does not give anyone the right to convert colleges/institutions into a hub of anti-India activity.”
“No anti-India slogans will be allowed in the name of freedom of speech,” Mr. Rijiju said. An alumnus of DU, he said no one should make statements that could harm national interest.
“India is a democratic country. We have fundamental rights, but we have fundamental duties too,” he added.
The Centre, meanwhile, has sought a report from DU. “I have asked for a report from the university,” said Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Javadekar, however, ruled out government intervention saying DU was an autonomous institution and that the police would take the required action.
Delhi University campus remained calm on Thursday, the day after protests turned violent and students clashed on the streets. Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi said: “The Proctor’s office will conduct an investigation after speaking to the Delhi Police.”
Asked if he felt the police had gone soft on the students of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, who allegedly started the violence, Prof. Tyagi replied: “There is no question of going hard or soft on a particular section of students. They are all our students and what is important is maintaining an environment for learning.”
Both the National Students’ Union of India and the ABVP took out marches from the Arts Faculty. While the NSUI organised a silent march to the Maurice Nagar police station condemning the violence, the ABVP carried out a more vocal protest.