Parties warn of stir if students protesting before PM penalised

Lucknow, Jan 23 (IANS) The political parties here on Saturday warned of an agitation if action was taken against two young Dalit scholars who shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday during a convocation ceremony at Bhim Rao Ambedkar university.

The three students – Surendra Nigam, Amrendra Arya and Ram Karan Nirmal – were on late Friday asked to vacate the accommodation provided to them as ‘guests’ in the varsity hostel. A case has been lodged against them.

They shouted “Modi go back” and condemned the recent suicide of Hyderabad scholar Rohith Vemula. Their degrees have also been stopped and the medal of one of the students has been withheld.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state unit said it would soon launch an agitation to protest any such move.

Vaibhav Maheshwari, state spokesman of the party, told IANS they would not tolerate any such victimisation, as everyone had a right to air their opinion, even if it was different from others.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) also threatened dire consequences if there was any such move.

Senior party leader of its state unit Arun Kumar told IANS that such actions by the union government were creating more Rohiths and that the party would not allow the Modi government to muzzle the voices of dissent.

The Rihai Manch, a Muslim organisation, on Saturday felicitated the three students for showing courage to voice their anger against the prime minister.

The management of the university however, said they would go ahead with the penal action against the three students as they had many pending complaints and had flouted discipline. They also had a shady background, a varsity official added.

The three students, however, justified their action, saying efforts were underway to saffronise the higher education institutions and it was unfortunate. Rather than shedding tears here, Prime Minister Modi should have gone to Hyderabad.

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