<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Minister of State for External Affairs, VK Singh, failed to turn up for an event at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), where he was invited as the chief guest by RSS-affiliated student group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), on Wednesday.The event, titled ‘Na Tobacco, Na Taliban, Naye Bharat ki Nayi Pehchan’, was organised on the occasion of World Tobacco Day. The event was held amid a demonstration by members of the Ambedkarite student group Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA), who were protesting against the invitation to Singh.”How could they invite such an inhuman and anti-Dalit minister to our campus, who once compared Dalit children to street dogs?” asked BAPSA member Rahul Sonpimple. In October, 2015, Singh had triggered a controversy when he said: “If somebody throws a stone on a dog, is the government responsible?”, in the backdrop of an incident in which two Dalit children were burnt alive in Faridabad.The organisers, however, waited for Singh till the very end. Later, when the minister did not reach the venue, the agitating students burnt his effigy and raised slogans against him.Meanwhile, on being queried on the theme of the event and the connection between tobacco and Taliban, ABVP’s Lalit Pandey said: “We all know that opium traders fund the Taliban in Afghanistan. In this way, all tobacco traders and consumers indirectly support terrorism.””We don’t only need to raise our voice against tobacco but also need to fight against those raise anti-national slogans at educational. This is just the beginning of our campaign against tobacco and terrorism,” Pandey added.
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