After Vandemataram, Jihadi’s urge to boycott Indian National Anthem

published on November 12, 2009

Kashmir V-C under fire for Geelani’s anti-India speech on campus

Pioneer News Service | Jammu

The action of Kashmir University Vice-Chancellor Prof Riaz Punjabi to allow hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to address a pro-azadi function on the campus of the institution has evoked widespread condemnation in many parts of the country, including Jammu & Kashmir.

During his surprise visit to the university on Wednesday, Geelani had parroted anti-India speeches and urged students to carry forward the ongoing freedom struggle in Kashmir.

Reacting sharply to the visit of Geelani on the university campus, the Jammu unit of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Thursday demanded dismissal of Prof Riaz Punjabi while accusing him of promoting anti-India activities on the campus.

Geelani, reportedly, also advised Kashmir University students to boycott all those functions on the campus where the Indian National Anthem was sung.

“The University of Kashmir has become a den of anti-India activities. The latest example is the permission granted by Vice-Chancellor Prof Riaz Punjabi to a separatist Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani to use the university premises for provoking anti-India sentiments and asking the students to take oath for jihad, azadi and Islam,” alleged BJP State president Ashok Khajuria while addressing a Press conference here at party headquarters.

“This has happened for the first time in 50 years that the sanctity of an academic institution has been eroded by people like Geelani. We demand dismissal of Riaz Punjabi, and stern action against him as per the law of the land, Khajuria said.

Training his guns on Punjabi, Khajuria alleged his dismissal has become all the more imperative in view of the fact that ever since his appointment as the Vice-Chancellor, the university has been conducting itself in a fashion like Deoband seminary (Saharanpur), which only recently adopted a resolution asking the Muslims of the country not to sing Vande Mataram as, according to it, it is un-Islamic.

Khajuria said besides Prof. Punjabi, legal action should also be taken against the State Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is the Pro-Chancellor of Kashmir University, and has given a free hand to the Vice-Chancellor for permitting anti-national activities on the campus.

Meanwhile, taking somewhat a lenient view of the visit, State spokesman of the Congress Ravinder Sharma said,” By entering the university campus without any invitation, Geelani had vitiated the academic atmosphere there.”

Instead of blaming the university authorities for allowing Geelani’s grand show on the campus, Congress spokesman said, “It is for the State Government to establish the charge whether some elements in the Kashmir university facilitated Geelani’s visit inside the campus or not. We condemn Geelani’s act in strong words,” Sharma added.

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