A chargesheet was filed today against former student union leaders Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and eight others for allegedly holding an “anti-national” event at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi in February 2016.
The police said they have evidence to proceed against former JNU Students’ Union leaders Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven students from Jammu and Kashmir – Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rassol, Bashir Bhat and Basharat.
— Shravya N (@NaMoShravya) January 14, 2019
They have been accused of organising an event on the college campus against the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru. Their arrests then had triggered a huge controversy with the opposition slamming the police for “working at the behest of the ruling BJP”.
Reacting to the 1,200-page chargesheet, Kanhaiya Kumar said it is “politically motivated”. “If the news is true that a chargesheet has been filed, I would like to thank police and Modi ji. The filing of chargesheet after three years, ahead of elections, clearly shows it to be politically motivated. I trust the judiciary of my country,” the former student leader told news agency ANI.
Umar Khalid denied the allegations against him. “The government is trying to divert attention and change the narrative in an election year to hide their failure. We will fight the case and prove our innocence,” Mr Khalid told repoters.
Never Forget Kanhaiya Kumar & gang celebrated separatists, called condolence meeting in JNU to condemn army action against terrorists and called our Army men rapists. This is not free speech, this is sedition.#JNUseditioncase#KanhaiyaKumar #UmarKhalid pic.twitter.com/rxh4DpkRrE
— Geetika Swami (@SwamiGeetika) January 14, 2019
The police said there is no direct evidence against 36 other accused, including Communist Party of India leader D Raja’s daughter Aprajita, but they can be summoned for questioning. “Even at that time we said that these are politically motivated charges and nobody can accuse AISF (All India Students Federation) for any activity against nation. There’s nothing to prove, our students can’t indulge in such activities and the government can’t slap sedition charges on them. We’ll fight the case,” D Raja told news agency ANI.
Three policemen were seen carrying the 1,200-page chargesheet, kept inside a trunk, to Patiala House Court before the police finally submitted it to the court.
Quoting eyewitnesses, the police said Kanhaiya Kumar was seen raising anti-national slogans at the event three years ago, adding they have CCTV and mobile phone videos showing him speaking clearly.
“The investigation was complex as the team also had to visit other states to take statements,” Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik had said last week.