New Delhi: Several Jawaharlal Nehru University alumni, including former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, on Tuesday attacked the Centre over the violence at the university, alleging that the government is trying to "destroy" the constitution.
Addressing students at an alumni meet at the university, Mr Yechury sought to know why FIRs were registered against JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh and alleged that it was an afterthought.
"We are defending the constitution and if there is any anti-national, it is the government which is trying to destroy the constitution," the Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary said.
Kanhaiya Kumar, who is a CPI leader and a former JNUSU president, said, "JNU always talks about issues that are not even reported. The government has made a mistake. They have chosen an enemy that is intelligent and studious."
"Hatred for JNU is not hatred for a university or ideology but the thought of how a country should be... In JNU, a girl can step out of library and walk alone. In this campus, 40 per cent people are from 'adivasi' or poor families," he said.
Mr Kumar said he takes it as an honour when he is called the leader of the "tukde-tukde gang".
"If you are with JNU, you are called a Leftist," he added.
"Tukde-tukde gang" is a term often used by the right-wing parties to attack the opposition, particularly Left and Left-backed outfits as well as those who support them.
CPI (Marxist-Leninist) leader Kavita Krishnan, also a JNU alumnus, attended the meet and slammed the government over the violence at the university.
On Sunday, a mob of masked young people stormed the JNU campus in south Delhi and targeted students in three hostels with sticks, stones and iron rods, hitting residents and breaking windows, furniture and personal belongings. They also attacked a women's hostel.
Over 30 people, including JNUSU president Ghosh, were injured in the violence.