Three years after alleged “anti-national slogans” were raised in the JNU campus, the Delhi Police on Monday filed a chargesheet at the Patiala House Court against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and eight others and slapped charges of sedition.
On February 9, Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were allegedly involved in raising “anti-national slogans” during an event organised in the campus to commemorate the hanging Afzal Guru, mastermind of the Parliament attack.
Along with Kumar, Khalid and Bhattacharya, the Delhi Police has also chargesheet Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rassol, Bashir Bhat and Basharat.
According to Delhi Police sources, investigators have found that the videos of the event in which the slogans were raised are authentic.
Kanhaiya Kumar has maintained throughout that he was not present in the event but contrary to his claims, Delhi Police has found that they have proof of Kumar being part of the criminal conspiracy and inciting the mob to raise “anti-India slogans”.
Apart from the 10 accused, who have been booked on charges of sedition, 36 others, including Aprajita (daughter of CPI leader D Raja) and Shehla Rashid have been named under Column 12, which means sufficient evidence against them have been not found.
Ten accused have been chargesheeted 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).
Sources have told India Today TV that the main evidence against the accused are the report from forensic lab, video footage, statements of witnesses present at the crime scene and other documentary evidence.
Delhi Police has claimed that a criminal conspiracy was hatched and it was pre-planned in which Kashmiri students from different universities also participated.
Kanhaiya, who is politically active, said that the case is politically motivated.
“We congratulate the Delhi Police, the Home Ministry and the government for waking up from their deep slumber 3 years after 9 Feb 2016, and barely 3 months before the general elections 2019 and filing a charge sheet against us,” Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya said in a joint statement.
The accused raised questions over the timing of the chargesheet.
“Lying is an art. It’s not enough to just lie. One also has to time it well. A sense of timing, of placement, is what makes one a master liar. And of course, one also needs to stage one’s own cheerleaders who would celebrate each of one’s lies. That is the role of most of the media today under this regime,” added the statement.
The court is yet to take cognisance of the chargesheet.