Rohith my icon, not Afzal: JNU student leader Kanhaiya

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar on Friday said that Hyderabad University research scholar Rohith Vemula was his icon and not parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

“If you ask me, Afzal Guru is not my icon; Rohith Vemula is my icon,” Kanhaiya told the media here when asked what he thought of Azfal Guru who was executed in the Tihar Central Jail here on February 9, 2013, for his role in the December 2001 Parliament House attack.

Arrested on February 12 on sedition charge, the JNU students leader was released from the Tihar Jail on Thursday evening after the Delhi High Court granted him interim bail for six months.

Condemning the February 9 event on the campus where anti-national slogans were raised, Kanhaiya said: “We strongly condemn what happened at the university on February 9. It’s for the court to decide if that was ‘raaj droh’ (treason) or not. We’ve full faith in the judiciary.”

Kanhaiya also asserted that JNU students could never be anti-national.

“I want to tell this to the country’s people that we study at the JNU with subsidy generated from the taxes paid by you. I want to assure the taxpayers of this country that a JNU student can never be anti-national. Your tax money is not used to fund any anti-national activities in the JNU.”

Rohith Vemula, 26, a Dalit research scholar, was found hanging in his Hyderabad University hostel room on January 17. He was one of the five research scholars suspended by the university in August last year after an assault on an RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student leader. The suspension was later revoked.

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