Shouting slogans and holding placards, thousands of protesters have joined a solidarity march in India’s capital, New Delhi, to protest against the arrest of a student leader on sedition charges.
The large demonstration on Thursday came amid continued nationwide protests against last week’s arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of a student union at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Kumar was arrested after he took part in a demonstration that marked the anniversary of the 2013 execution of Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri man convicted of an attack on India’s Parliament in 2001.
On Thursday, protesters marched from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar, a designated protest area near India’s parliament.
There, they called for Kumar’s immediate release.
“We want our leader to be absolved of all the charges and declared innocent. We do not want the government to just give him bail,” Rahil Parween, a JNU student and activist, told Al Jazeera.
Students and faculty members from other universities also took part in the protest.
“I am here to defend democracy and resist the fascist forces that have been attacking our freedom of expression,” said Gopinath Ravindran, a professor at Jamia Millia University.