Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Others Lead Mumbai Protest Over JNU Attack

Among the celebrities present were Vishal Bharadwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Anubhav Sinha, Zoya Akhtar, Dia Mirza, Rahul Bose and Richa Chadha.

Strains of protest music and poetry wafted through the air during the protest at Carter Road.

New Delhi:

Bollywood personalities led hundreds of people in a peaceful protest against the attack on New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University campus at Carter Road in Mumbai on Monday evening, combining sloganeering with songs and poetry recitals.

Among those present were Vishal Bharadwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Anubhav Sinha, Zoya Akhtar, Dia Mirza, Rahul Bose, Richa Chadha, Swanand Kirkire, Reema Kagti, Hansal Mehta, Sayani Gupta, Gauahar Khan and Taapsee Pannu, besides stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra.

"Enough!" shouted one of the placards held up at the protest, while another appealed to the people to "speak up for the unarmed". As the protest continued, students recited poetry condemning the recent instances of violence in the country while amateur musicians picked up guitars and strummed melodious protest tunes.

Policemen stood by through the demonstration, some smiling and tapping their feet along to the music.

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The Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra has come out in support of the students and faculty members targeted at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, even comparing the incident to the 2008 Mumbai attack. "I was watching reports on TV and the attack on JNU students reminded me of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. Students are feeling unsafe in the country... I will not allow anything like that to happen here in Maharashtra," the Chief Minister said earlier in the day.

Mr Thackeray also slammed the Delhi Police for "mishandling" the situation. "Our youth are angry. Our youth are not cowards. Don't ignite a bomb by instigating the youth. If Delhi Police fail to identify the actual perpetrators of the attack, they will also find themselves in the dock," he said.

Hundreds of students also held a demonstration at the Mumbai capital's Gateway of India in solidarity with the students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University. At least 34 faculty members and students were injured in the violence unleashed by a gang of 70 to 100 masked assailants on the institution campus on Sunday evening.