This Article is From Apr 12, 2010

Dantewada aftershocks at JNU

New Delhi: The aftershocks of India's worst Maoist strike was felt at one of the country's most prestigious universities. Student unions clashed over a function held on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus by a group opposed to using force against Maoists.

And for once on the same side of the divide were archrivals student wings of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They allege the function was an attempt to celebrate the bloody massacre.

"I want to know what was so important that they could not postpone the event even after 76 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed. They knew it was a sensitive issue," says Sunil Jhajharia, National Students of India (NSUI) president.

 "Our viewpoints are same on this, so we protested together," says Vineet, an ABVP member at the JNU campus.

The group that organised the function didn't seek prior permission from the university authorities, but it claims the event had nothing to do with the killings in Dantewada.

"We had planned the event on April 5. But we had to delay it for some reasons. So how can you say that it was a celebration for the killing of the 76 jawans," asks Saptarshi Choudhary, member, Forum Against War on People.

University authorities did not speak to us on camera, but their stance on this matter is clear. Right after the incident they said that they would not support any demonstration on campus that seemed anti- national.

JNU has always accommodated debates on differing viewpoints on many topics, but at a time when tempers are high over the Dantewada massacre, the varsity doesn't want any fresh controversy.