JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar was remanded for custodial interrogation for three days by a court in a sedition case, with the police saying that his and five other absconding accused’s alleged links with terrorist groups are being probed. The police claimed that anti-India slogans were shouted by the accused during the campus event organised on February 9 to commemorate hanging of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru and Kanhaiya was required to be interrogated to ascertain the identity of other persons. The police told the court that slogans were raised against the Indian Army and in favour of Pakistan, Guru and Maqbool Bhat, who was hanged in 1984 in a murder case.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the hearing, the police played the video footage of the event before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen on a computer and asked Kanhaiya “which ‘Azaadi’ (freedom) are they seeking?” The court asked this when several persons were seen in the video footage shouting slogans demanding freedom of Kashmir from India. To this, Kanhaiya said he did not know each one of them as some of them were outsiders and not from JNU.While watching the footage, the court at one point observed “It appears they are sad with the fact that they are in India.” During the hearing, the police claimed in court that five other co-accused – Omar Khalid, Anant Prakash, Rama Naga, Ashutosh and Anirban – are absconding from JNU campus.
ALSO READ Afzal Guru event at JNU: Students’ Union President arrested, remanded to 3 days custodyIt said that eye witness, Sandeep Kumar, who is a security guard in JNU, has said he had seen Kanhaiya shouting anti-India slogan during the event. Kanhaiya, who himself argued during the hearing, told the magistrate that he was nowhere involved in any anti-India sloganeering and had rushed to the spot only to intervene in the clash between ABVP workers and the persons organising the event.”I was not the organiser of event, nor was I there. I went there because I am the President of JNU students union and there was a clash. This is a media trial. I have full faith in the judiciary,” Kanhaiya, who was seen having tears in his eyes, said during the hearing.
ALSO READ JNU row: Yechury dubs action against students as ‘undeclared Emergency’ He claimed that this was a political case and he was being framed by the police just because he had defeated the ABVP candidate in the presidential poll of JNU students union. “I disassociate myself with the sloganeering. I have full faith in the Constitution of India and I have always said that Kashmir is an integral part of India,” he told the court.During the hearing, the police told the court that Kanhaiya was required to be quizzed to ascertain the identity and whereabouts of the absconding accused. The accused told the magistrate that he would help the police in ascertaining the identity of the students who were seen shouting slogans in the video footage. He said JNU authority had denied the permission to hold the event but the organisers changed it into a ‘Nukkad Sabha’ (street corner meeting) where they shouted anti-India slogans.
ALSO READ JNU campus row: Those raising anti-India slogans will not be spared, warns Rajnath SinghInitially, Kanhaiya told the court that he was not there in the video footage but the police said he was there. To this, the court said, “What is the video footage? Show me.” The footage was then played in the courtroom’s computer and the judge spotted Kanhaiya in the video. However, the accused clarified that he was seen in the footage only while trying to prevent the clash. The police claimed in the court that almost everybody has said during the probe the accused was shouting anti-India slogan. When the accused told the court that some of them were outsiders, the judge said, “Can any outsider enter the JNU campus?.” To this, the accused said, “Yes. There is no security and outsiders come inside the premises.”The police, however, said, “No one can enter the premises without their (students) permission. Even police can’t enter.” Referring to recent suicide by Rohith Vemula, a student of University of Hyderabad, Kanhaiya told the court that Ministry of Human Resource and Development had acted arbitrarily in the matter and “it a high time that democracy is saved.”The police alleged that he was inciting, being part of the mob shouting anti-India slogan. A case was registered yesterday 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. A group of students had on February 9 held an event in the campus and allegedly shouted slogans against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in 2013. The event occurred despite the varsity administration having cancelled the permission following a complaint by ABVP members, who had termed the activity as “anti-national”. Watch the footage below: With inputs from agencies