All India Students Federation activist Vishnu Jaisawl, who 'left ABVP six months ago', claimed that he himself came up with the idea of printing the T-shirts, that attracted a large number of buyers in the initial hour of the demonstration.

However, the move to use the arrested student leader as a brand did not go down well with many of the protesters.

"There are several mode of protests. Keeping that in mind I don't see the point in commercialising the issue. It's completely unnecessary", a JNU research scholar, not wanting to be named, said.

"The purpose is not to make money but use these merchandise to add force to the JNU struggle, which I completely support", he said.

The white t-shirts, inscribed with the message 'Mera yaar, Kanhaiya Kumar', was in line with a similar move by an e-commerce company to sell t-shirts with Hyderabad University dalit student Rohith Vemula's picture following his suicide that had galvanised the student community.

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