Emergency-like situation, says Left after arrest of JNU students’ union president

Delhi Police had registered charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy against ‘unknown people’ after a fracas between student groups in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) earlier this week.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: February 12, 2016 8:25 pm
JNU, JNU president arrested, JNU campus, JNU afzal guru, JNU anit india slogans, JNU protests, JNU afzal guru, JNU afzal guru event, jnu protests, afzal guru jnu protests, jnu arrests, delhi news, india news A group of students on Tuesday held an event on the JNU campus and allegedly shouted slogans against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in 2013.

JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested in a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy for holding an anti-national event inside the university premises, was on Friday remanded to three-day police custody by a Delhi court.

Kanhaiya was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen where the police sought his custodial interrogation for five days to ascertain the alleged links of the accused persons, including those who are allegedly absconding, with terrorist groups.

The police told the court that Kanhaiya was also required to be interrogated for the purpose of identification of other accused who were seen shouting “anti-national” slogans during the event organised in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Campus on February 9.

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The police also placed on record a CD of the event which the judge played inside the court room on a computer.

Kanhaiya told the court that he was neither shouting any slogan nor saying anything against integrity of the country and said he had rushed to the spot only to prevent a clash between ABVP workers and students organising the event.

He claimed in the court that this was a politically-motivated case and he was being framed by the police as he had defeated the ABVP candidate in the presidential elections of the JNU students’ union (JNUSU).

He told the court that he did not endorse the slogans against India in any manner and has full faith in the Constitution of the country.

“I dissociate myself from the slogans which were shouted in the event. I have full faith in the Constitution of the country and I always say that Kashmir is an integral part of India,” Kanhaiya told the court.

After the CD was played inside the court room, the judge asked Kanhaiya about the identity of the persons who were seen shouting slogans in favour of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged after being awarded death penalty by the court, and Pakistan.

Responding to the court’s query, the accused said he did not know all of them as they were outsiders but he can identify all the students who are from JNU.

After the arrest, the varsity students and teachers protested outside the Vice Chancellor’s office demanding the administration’s intervention into the manner in which students are being compared to “terrorists” and picked up from campus by policemen in plain clothes.

Equating the events with an “emergency-like situation”, CPI-M Sitaram Yechury said, “The question is that do you know who raised the slogans? Take action according to law against them. When you don’t know then how are you arresting all the student leaders?

“…Male police are going and raiding girls’ hostels. Only during the emergency we saw this happen. That is the sort of Emergency State they are reducing our country to again. This time it is the BJP,” he said.

Questioning the filing of sedition case, Congress leader Kapil Sibal asserted that it was a very serious charge and the BJP government should think before taking action under it.