Agnivesh demands scrapping of sedition law

Panaji, Feb 17 (IANS) Swami Agnivesh on Wednesday said that the sedition law, enforced by the British to safeguard the Raj, should be repealed since it was misused to muzzle dissent.

The Arya Samaj scholar and social activist also said that by attacking an institution like the Jawaharlal Nehru University and arresting its student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, the Centre has sent out a wrong message to the country.

“This sedition law – Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code – was made by the British to safeguard their empire. They arrested Mahatma Gandhi and (Bal Gangadhar) Tilak under this law? Were they anti-national?” Agnivesh said at a function organised by the Popular Front of India in Panaji.

He said that those who shouted slogans in favour of executed parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on the JNU campus on February 9 must be identified and tried under the law. However, police should not arrest students on their whims and fancy, the social activist said.

“The JNU has a legacy of providing educational opportunities to the poor students. The mother of Kanhaiya Kumar is a labourer, his father has paralysis. They earn Rs.3,000 per month. But they could still educate their son because he went to the JNU… his arrest will send a wrong message to the country,” Agnivesh said.

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