Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma on Saturday said the incidents like the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) controversy tarnish the image of the country and affect the tourism sector.

Sharma, however, urged the citizens to come together and work for "formation of a strong country".

"It is true that incidents like this (JNU row) tarnish the country’s image. We must talk about formation of a strong nation. The tourism industry definitely suffers because of such incidents," he told reporters here.

JNU is caught in a row over the February 9 event on campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which "anti-national" slogans were allegedly raised. Since then, the issue has snowballed into a political slugfest.

JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar and two others, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, were arrested for allegedly raising anti-India slogans at the event.

While Kumar, who was slapped with the sedition charge, was released from jail on Thursday, Khalid and Bhattacharya are in judicial custody.