Jammu [India], Apr. 8 : Akhil Baharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists on Saturday stopped the ongoing Inter-Universities Sports Meet at the University of Jammu over the alleged disrespect to the national anthem at the opening ceremony by students of Kashmir University.
ABVP activists halted all sports events and asked Kashmir University students to leave the ground. ABVP students chanted slogans like: "Bharat Mata Ka Apmaan Nahi Sahega Hindustan (Hindustan will not tolerate Mother India's insult), Hindustan Mey Rehna Hoga to Vande Mataram Kehna Hoga (If one wants to live in India then he/she should chant Vande Mataram).
ABVP leader Avatar Singh Jasrotia told ANI that several students of Kashmir University had indulged in a seditious act by disrespecting the national anthem on March 5.
"We had given 48-hour ultimatum to Jammu University officials to conduct an inquiry in the matter and take an apology letter from the students of Kashmir University, but the university administration didn't pay any heed to our demand, and hence, we were forced to halt the sports meet," said Jasrotia.
"If the Jammu University administration takes this serious matter lightly then we won't sit quiet and will shutdown the university," he threatened.
An ABVP girl participating in the protest said, "We understand that they (Kashmiri students) have not been taught how to respect the national anthem but what we are demanding is that they should once sing the national anthem with us and tender a written apology.
If they don't do so then the Kashmir University team should be disqualified." A Kashmiri student, who is participating in the sports meet, said that nobody had disrespected the national anthem but now they (ABVP) are trying to teach us how to stand or sit.
When asked about photographs that show some Kashmiri students had left the venue while the national anthem was being sung, the Kashmiri student said, "I think some students have personal issues with this (national anthem).
You cannot inject nationalism forcefully to anybody. You cannot force anyone to sing the national anthem; you cannot force anybody to stand up during the national anthem." A university official told ANI that the institution is expecting full cooperation from the students so that the event is restarted peacefully.
He said that there was no disrespect to the national anthem was reported. He, however, tried to redefine the 'respect' to the national anthem in a 'broader perspective'. "Since the national anthem is only of 58 seconds, so, if somebody stands up late or even changes his posture during the national anthem then it should not be construed as 'disrespect' to the national anthem.".