The three former office-bearers of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, who had resigned from the party in protest against the Centre's handling of the raging row at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, said they were being "mocked" at for supporting the BJP's student wing and the "guilt" made them take the strong step.
"People were mocking at us for supporting such a stand... we were feeling guilty of doing so. I was feeling terrible when the entire university was being called anti-national but I could not stand as a JNUite. It was then we decided to resign from the party," Pradeep Narwal, former joint secretary of JNU unit of ABVP, said.
Narwal, along with Rahul Yadav, president of ABVP unit of JNU's School of Social Sciences and its secretary Ankit Hans, had on Wednesday resigned from the ABVP in protest against the Centre's handling of the row and "legitimising" actions of right wing fascist forces, saying they "cannot be mouthpiece of such a government which has unleashed oppression on student community".
Talking to reporters earlier in the day, Narwal said, "JNU is the most nationalist institution in the country. I do not support the government's stand over the issue. Let Supreme Court find Kanhaiya guilty and award him life imprisonment. But let the law take its course. There should be no 'Taliban culture' in India".
"We are going to fight for JNU. If law finds Kanhaiya guilty, let him be punished. If Umar Khalid is guilty he should be jailed. But do not attack the entire university, students and teachers. Let there be space for voices of dissent," he added.
Ankit Hans, said, "We had ideological differences with the party over the issue so we decided to disassociate ourselves. We want to stand for the university as students and not political leaders of an outfit, whose stand is not acceptable to us".
While the ABVP senior leaders are claiming that the three students have been "influenced" to protest against the party and divert the whole issue, Hans said, "This is our individual decision. We have not done this under anybody's influence.
In a hard-hitting resignation letter, the trio had on Wednesday said, "We think there is a difference between interrogation and crushing ideology and branding entire left as anti-national. We cannot be mouthpiece of such a government which has unleashed oppression on student community.
"Every day we see people assembling at the front gate with the Indian flag to beat JNU students; well this is hooliganism not nationalism. You can’t do anything in the name of nation; there is a difference between nationalism and hooliganism".
The three students, however, did not join the ongoing strike by the students demanding release of JNUSU President Kanhaiya, citing "security reasons".
Kanhaiya was arrested on Friday last in connection with a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy registered over holding of the event at the varsity during which anti-India slogans were alleged to have been raised.
Members of the ABVP had objected to holding of the event following which the vice chancellor had withdrawn the permission for it. However, the organisers had gone ahead with the event.