New Delhi: Political slugfest over the JNU row spiked on Monday with BJP chief Amit Shah accusing Rahul Gandhi of backing "anti-nationals" and the Congress leader hitting back saying the saffron party was promoting a "divide and hatred" agenda.
Police, meanwhile, claimed the student leader charged with sedition had raised anti-India slogans.
On their part, the JNU students stepped up their agitation by boycotting classes demanding unconditional release of students union president Kanhaiya Kumar. The teachers association of the premier institute has rallied behind the agitating students but have not struck work.
In a related incident, at least six persons, including students and mediapersons, were thrashed by a group of men in lawyer's robes within and outside Patiala House courts during the hearing of the sedition case against Kanhaiya. A BJP MLA, present there for a different case, allegedly roughed up a CPI activist.
Amid the raging row, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi, after a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, said Kanhaiya had raised anti-national slogans during a controversial event on JNU campus but admitted police have so far found "no evidence linking the LeT" to the incident.
Singh had yesterday claimed the event at JNU to protest the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru had received "support" from LeT founder Hafiz Saeed.
Speaking on the the raging controversy for the first time, Shah targeted Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi alleging he was supporting "anti-nationals" and wondered whether he wanted another "division" of India.
Posing a slew of questions to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, Shah also demanded that he apologise for his stand on the JNU issue. Rahul had visited JNU on Saturday and extended support to the students' cause.
"An attempt was made to defame a leading university in the national capital by turning it into a centre which encourages terrorism and separatism. I want to ask Rahul Gandhi if it would be in national interest had the central government kept quiet?
"Are you not encouraging traitors by protesting in support of these anti-nationals?", Shah wrote in a blog.
Addressing a party meeting in Assam's Sonitpur district, Rahul returned fire saying BJP wanted to control everyone's views. "The BJP and RSS are following an agenda of creating divide and hatred, as can be seen from the recent developments in JNU, by imposing their views forcibly on people."
Kanhaiya was arrested on Friday 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.