Former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and others, named in a charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police in a sedition case on Monday, termed the move as “politically motivated” and questioned its timing, ahead of the parliamentary election.
“The charge sheet 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,” Kumar told agencies.
The Delhi Police also charged former students – Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during an event organised on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus on February 9, 2016 to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru.
Khalid, who addressed a student gathering at St. Joseph’s College in Bangalore on the “role of youth in safeguarding the Constitution”, said, “We reject the allegations. The move to file the charge sheet 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.”
Others charged in the case are 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 charge sheet due to insufficient evidence against them, police sources said.
Former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) leader Shehla Rashid, who had led the campaign for the release of Kumar and other students, said, “This is a completely bogus case in which ultimately everyone will be acquitted. The timing of the charge sheet right before the elections just reflects how the BJP wants to reap electoral benefits out of this. I was not even on campus on the day of the event.”
CPI Leader D Raja said, “It is politically motivated. After three years Delhi police is filing the charge sheet in the case. We will fight it legally in court and politically outside court.”