Coinciding with the International Language Day (Bhasha Diwas), 13 Left parties on Sunday took to the city streets on the JNU issue with a march from Surendranath Park to Mahajati Sadan, decrying the assault on fundamental rights, alleged bid to curb autonomy in universities by the RSS-BJP combine and the sinister move by the Centre to brand Left parties anti-national.

Questioning the “thunderous silence” of the Trinamul Congress (TMC) chief on the JNU issue that has already evoked national outcry and widespread condemnation, Left Front (LF) chairman Biman Bose, who led the march, said that the Left parties were demanding unconditional release of the JNU student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar and withdrawal of sedition charge against him. “Kanhaiya is a meritorious student and he has been implicated in false cases in the pattern of Goebbles,” he said, adding, “the student leader is totally innocent.” Apart from the Left Front constituents, leaders from other Leftist parties, like SUCI-C and CPI-ML (Liberation), besides Samajwadi Party and Janata Dal took part in the march.

CPI-M state secretary Dr Suryakanta Mishra alleged that the leaders of BJP and the RSS had been acting like “autocrats” and were encouraging “the politics of division” in West Bengal. “Attempts are being made to curb people&’s constitutional rights in a systematic way,” he alleged. Citing instances of gross government intervention in the functioning of the universities, Bose said,“The way Jadavpur University vice-chancellor has been accused, it amounts to curbing the autonomy of the universities.”

“It is alarming to note that both the Central and the state governments have made it a practice to defend their argument that they have the liberty to interfere in the functioning of the universities since they are funding the universities,” he said, adding, “such trends are dangerous for democratic functioning of the educational institutions.” He said that the left parties would not tolerate any move to curb democratic movement and the bid to brand left parties anti-national for launching democratic struggle.

CPI-M politburo member Md Selim, MP, said that autonomy of the universities is being infringed upon by the ruling party,which is out to curb people&’s right to protest.