Rallies took place across the capital on Tuesday in support of a Delhi University student who claimed she received rape threats after making controversial remarks over a row at Ramjas College before wading into the Pakistan issue.

Student Gurmehar Kaur, 20, criticised the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) students' union over its role in recent campus violence triggered last week over a dispute on invites given to two JNU student speakers, which were later withdrawn.

She wrote: 'I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of AVBP. I am not alone. Every student in India is with me. #studentsagainstAVBP.'

Many other students have since been copying her placard in support.

Her comments online were also followed by a video post which read: 'Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him.' 

Kaur's father was an Indian Army captain killed in an attack on a military camp near the de facto border with Pakistan in 1999. 

Following her remarks on the issue, she was mocked online by celebrities including cricketer Virender Sehwag and claims she even received rape and death threats.

Hundreds of students from several colleges in New Delhi then took to the streets to protest against the threats as well as recent campus violence, amid an ongoing debate on nationalism and fears of the muzzling of freedom of speech under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

'My nationalism is beyond your claustrophobic nationalism,' read a placard at the rally, with protesters shouting slogans against the right-wing student group linked to Modi's Hindu nationalist party. 

But her olive branch approach to India's nuclear-armed arch-rival led users to lampoon her, including celebrities such as Sehwag. He retorted with a Twitter post saying: 'I didn't score two triple centuries, my bat did.'

The post by Sehwag - one of India's all-time leading run-scorers before he retired in 2015 - went viral on social media, with many trolling the 20-year-old student online and threatening her with physical violence.

'I have been getting a lot of threats on social media. I think it is very scary when people threaten you with violence and rape,' she told the NDTV network.

Asked about how felt towards Sehwag, she replied: 'Honestly, this just breaks your heart because these are people you grow up looking up to.'

Kaur later pulled out of the protest against the ABVP, saying she had done more than enough for her '20-year-old' self, said her father would have been proud and asked for privacy. 

Critics of Modi's government say that nationalist sentiment has grown sharply during his premiership and authorities too often turn a blind eye when right-wing groups respond aggressively to any show of dissent. 

Courtesy Daily Mail