AFTER ARRESTING a student leader of JNU on Friday on charges of sedition following the raising of alleged anti-India slogans during an “unauthorised” event on campus, Delhi Police has requested the university’s Vice-Chancellor to produce five more students allegedly involved in “anti-national activity”.
It has also emerged that a day before students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on campus, police requested V-C Jagadesh Kumar for permission to enter the JNU premises to record acts of “sedition” and “anti-national speeches”. Four sitting deans of the university have now opposed the V-C’s move to let police enter campus.
While the letter on producing five more students was sent by the investigating officer in the sedition case lodged at Vasant Kunj police station, the one seeking permission to enter the campus was sent on Thursday by Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Prem Nath.
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The investigating officer’s letter, seeking to question Umar Khalid, Ashutosh Kumar, Anirban Bhattacharya, Rama Naga and Ananta Prakash, stated that they were identified on the basis of evidence collected.
Nath’s letter, meanwhile, sought “necessary permission for the force to enter the campus to use the video coverage for covering the activities of such acts/expressions of sedition and anti-national speeches for legal action”.
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The DCP also requested the V-C to provide video cameras to security staff to record such events for post-incident analysis. “You are also requested to install CCTV cameras at the entry/exit points and strategic locations in the interest of safety and security of the university campus,” Nath said in the letter.
“The information regarding such anti-national expressions and speeches of sedition be immediately given to police…so necessary action is taken by the police at the earliest,” the letter stated.
Kumar was arrested after Delhi Police registered a case under section 124A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
According to the FIR, anti-India slogans were allegedly raised by a group of students, led by Kumar and Khalid, during an event to mark the anniversary of the hanging of Afzal Guru on terror charges. University officials have said that they had not granted permission for the event to be staged.
The FIR also stated that 80-90 students, including 15-20 women, were part of the protest march towards Ganga Dhaba inside campus on February 9. It also listed the slogans that the students allegedly raised and claimed to have a news clipping of a TV news channel as evidence.
Meanwhile, in a letter to the V-C, the deans of School of Social Sciences, School of International Studies, School of Languages and School of Arts and Aesthetics wrote that a “blanket permission” to police amounts to a “major change in the policy adopted by successive Vice-Chancellors ever since JNU was established, and against the policy that most universities adopt”.
”We have been told that the Registrar told the teachers’ delegation that the Committee of Deans endorsed this decision of the University, which is patently wrong. We would therefore request you to issue a clarification that the details with respect to this matter were not revealed to the Deans Committee, and the statement issued was not an endorsement of police presence and raids but only of the internal inquiry instituted by you as Vice Chancellor,” they wrote.
“We also strongly urge you to find ways to immediately retract any blanket permission to the police to enter and conduct operations on campus,” they added.