Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 14
The Delhi Police today filed a chargesheet in a city court against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others in a sedition case lodged in 2016. Kumar has been charged with inciting a group of students during a procession and supporting seditious slogans.
The police also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya with raising anti-India slogans during an event on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru.
The chargesheet was filed before Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand, who posted the matter for further hearing on Tuesday.
The police claimed they had video evidence to prove the offence, corroborated by witness statements. The other accused are Kashmiri students Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayees Rasool, Bashir Bhatt and Basharat Ali. Some were then studying in JNU, Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia. While 36 others, including Communist Party of India leader D Raja’s daughter Aprajita, former JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid, and former JNU students Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Banojyotsna Lahiri, have also been named for being present at the event, the police have not “found any sufficient and incriminating evidence” against them.
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 IPC.
In the 1,200-page chargesheet, the police claimed the footage of the event was genuine and established the Kashmiri students’ presence. The Kashmiri students who attended the procession with muffled faces did not cover their faces while returning, the police said.
The 10 accused have been chargesheeted on the basis of both electronic (CCTV footage and mobile footage) and documentary evidence (statements of students and security guards).
The final report claimed that permission was not granted to organise the event and that those who attended it were part of an unlawful assembly. A case was registered on February 11, 2016, under Sections 124A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC against unidentified persons at the Vasant Kunj (North) police station following complaints from BJP MP Maheish Girri and party’s student wing ABVP. The university administration had cancelled permission for the event following a complaint from the ABVP, which had termed it “anti-national”.
Setback for Left
The Left parties received a setback with the submission of chargesheet against Kanhaiya Kumar. The CPI reportedly planned to pitch Kanhaiya as its candidate from Bihar in General Election. Left parties are supportive of his candidature from Begusarai in Bihar.
Politically motivated: student leader
The chargesheet is politically motivated. However, we want the charges to be framed and a speedy trial in the case so that the truth comes out. We also want to see the videos that have been placed on record as evidence by the police. Kanhaiya Kumar, former JNUSU President
Bid to divert attention: umar Khalid
We reject the allegations. The move to file the chargesheet three years after the alleged incident is an attempt to divert the attention (of the people) right before (parliamentary) elections. We will fight it out in court. Umar Khalid, former JNU Student
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