JNU case: Delhi Police charge Kanhaiya Kumar, others with sedition

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police filed a chargesheet on Monday against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in a sedition case lodged in 2016.

The police have also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during an event on the university campus on February 9, 2016 to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru.

The others charged in the case are Kashmiri students Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rassol, Bashir Bhat and Basharat.

As many as 36 others, including Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja’s daughter Aprajita, Shehla Rashid (then vice-president of the JNUSU), Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Banojyotsna Lahiri have been named in column 12 of the chargesheet due to insufficient evidence against them, police sources said.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Anand put up the chargesheet for consideration before a competent court on Tuesday.

The accused have been charged with offences under sections 124A (sedition), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 465 (punishment for forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 143 (punishment for being a member of an unlawful assembly), 149 (being a member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The chargesheet also contains CCTV footage, mobile footage and documentary evidence.

The police have alleged that Kanhaiya Kumar had incited the mob to shout anti-India slogans.

A case was registered on February 11, 2016 under Sections of 124 A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC against unknown persons at Vasant Kunj (North) police station following complaints by BJP MP Maheish Girri and the ABVP.

The February 9 event happened despite the varsity administration having cancelled the permission following a complaint by the ABVP, who had termed it as “anti-national”.

On Sunday, the special cell wound up the probe, took necessary sanctions from Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik and the prosecution in the case against 10 people, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Syed Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.

The police report cites forensic evidence of video footage to confirm that slogans like “Bharat tere tukde honge, inshallah inshallah” were raised at the university, where over 50 people had gathered nearly three years ago to protest against the capital punishment awarded by the Supreme Court to Afzal Guru.

The accused were also identified through Facebook data analysis and electronic surveillance, which corroborated their location on February 9, 2016 to be JNU. Some JNU staffers and security men have also been listed as witnesses in the case. The police are banking heavily on those who have given their statement under 164 CrPc. This means they cannot retract from their version and any discrepancy can lead to prosecution for perjury.

Source: Times of India