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Yogeshwar Dutt writes commemorative poem on JNU row

The Olympic bronze medal-winning wrestler penned his thoughts as he paid tribute in a poem to Lance Naik Hanumanthappa.

Yogeshwar Dutt Wrestling India gold olympics
Yogeshwar Dutt won bronze for India at the 2012 London Olympics

Indian Olympic medal-winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt spoke out on the recent controversy that has erupted at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Students at the prestigious institution held a campus event condemning the hanging of Afzal Guru, who in 2002 was convicted of the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament.

Guru was sentenced to death and executed in 2013 in an operation shrouded in secrecy, with mixed reactions to his hanging at the time.

Students at Jawaharlal Nehru University are alleged to have denounced Guru’s hanging at the event, which snowballed and eventually led to the arrest of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar on allegations of ‘sedition.’

The university has seen serious altercations between students, political parties and leaders, with several members of influential political parties not only involved in the physical abuse of students, but also publicly threatening them with bodily harm.

The police and home ministry have also become involved in what should otherwise have been an internal university matter, seriously drawing into question the state of free speech in the country.

Dutt wrote a poem on the issue, referencing heavily the tragic death of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa, who perished last week after having survived six days in an avalanche at the Siachen Glacier, where a large Indian army regiment is stationed.

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