Minister of Textile and Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani on Monday spoke on the brutal violence that erupted in JNU campus on Sunday and stressed that students should not be used as political "pawns". She refrained from making any other comments on the incident, as an investigation on the JNU violence is still underway.
"An investigation has been launched. Holding a constitutional post, making any comment at the moment while an investigation is underway would not be appropriate," the Union Minister said. "I would like to reiterate that educational institutes should not be used as an arena of politics. It impacts the lives of students and affects their progress. I am hopeful and optimistic that students will not be used as political pawns," she added.
Even as reports emerged of a brutal attack on the students and professors of JNU on Sunday, many leaders of the Opposition jumped in the fray and immediately blamed the ruling BJP and ABVP for the violence. While Congress in its official reaction blamed the police for its inaction and termed the violence as a direct result of the Centre’s “divisive politics”, the party’s Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari drew parallels with the era of Nazi Germany. He described it as “state-sponsored terror”.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged that this was a planned attack by the BJP government against the resistance to its alleged Hindutva agenda.
Congress leader Kapil Sibal demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah and JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar over the brutal campus violence unleashed on the eve of January 5. Sibal said the entire incident was a conspiracy led by the VC and ABVP students.
Congress leader P Chidambaram said that it is shocking and horrifying to see a live telecast of masked men entering JNU hostels and attacking students, and alleged that such an "act of impunity can only happen with the support of the government".