The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) Opposition in Kerala have condemned the attack on students and teachers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday in almost identical terms.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan castigated the violence unleashed by a set of unknown masked men wielding hockey and polo sticks as “Nazi-style attacks”.
Leader of the Kerala Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the onslaught was yet another galling example of the manifestation of “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-sponsored fascism in action”.
The CM also tweeted the images of injured JNU Students’ Union president Aishe Ghosh and professor Suchitra Sen on his official account.
He termed the attack as an “appalling display of intolerance running amok”. “The attackers intend to create an atmosphere of unrest and terror in the country. The scale of the attack reveals the extent of planning that went into it. Sangh Parivar must end this diabolical plan to silence universities with bloodshed. Remember, those students are speaking for all,” Mr. Vijayan tweeted.
Mr. Chennithala said the miscreants had targeted teachers and students in their hostels at night with impunity. Some reports suggested that the attack was in retaliation for the protests Union Home Minister Amit Shah faced in a neighbourhood in New Delhi. The country should rise as one in defiance against the attempts of the BJP to “choke protesting students in their blood”.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, V. Muraleedharan, struck a different tone when he met reporters here. He alleged a “motley crew of Marxist, Congress and radicalised students” were responsible for the violence. The midnight attack on JNU students was part of a “larger political conspiracy” to portray that university students were en masse in revolt against the Central government.
The protests by students in JNU following the attack also resonated across campuses in Kerala. Activists of the Students Federation of India took to the road late on Sunday in an expression of solidarity with their striking compatriots in New Delhi. On Monday, the SFI held protest marches and meetings in various college campuses.