New Delhi, Feb 12: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi tonight said Modi government "bullying" an institution like JNU was "completely condemnable", but at the same time asserted that anti-India sentiment is "unquestionably unacceptable".
"Modi Govt & ABVP bullying an institution like JNU simply because it won't toe their line is completely condemnable. "While Anti-India sentiment is unquestionably unacceptable, the right to dissent & debate is an essential ingredient of democracy", the Congress Vice President tweeted.
Gandhi's remarks came within hours of the arrest of JNU Students' Union President Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case over an event at the varsity campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, sparking massive outrage among students and criticism from non-BJP parties which dubbed it as an "emergency-like" situation.
Kumar was arrested today and later remanded to three-day police custody by a local court, a day after police filed a sedition and criminal conspiracy case against him on complaints from BJP MP Maheish Girri and ABVP members.
Earlier in the day, Union ministers Smriti Irani and Rajnath Singh advocated strong action against those involved in the alleged "anti-India" act even as the students continued with their protests on the campus for the third day, saying they are being "witch-hunted".
Questioning the filing of sedition case, Congress leader Kapil Sibal asserted that it was a very serious charge and the BJP government should think before taking action under it.
Gandhi had played a key role in protests over the suicide of the dalit scholar Rohith Vemula at the Hyderabad University last month, an issue that had led to outrage over campuses of several universities in the country.