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JNU row: Now, Delhi Police seek Zee’s camera, chip for Afzal Guru event footage

Editor, Zee News, Sudhir Chaudhary confirmed police had approached them for the camera and the memory card containing the “original chip”.

Written by Sarah Hafeez | New Delhi | Updated: February 21, 2016 8:29 am
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The Delhi Police Saturday asked Zee News for their reporter’s camera and its “original chip” containing footage of the alleged anti-national slogans raised on the JNU campus on February 9, during a meeting held to mark Afzal Guru’s hanging.

The request comes just days after questions were raised over the authenticity of another video broadcast on television news channels, that went viral on social media, showing arrested JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar shouting “pro-Kashmir” slogans.

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The request for the original footage of February 9 comes 10 days after police registered a suo motu FIR based on the Zee News video, aired on February 10, that showed people purportedly shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans at the Afzal Guru event.

It was after this that Kanhaiya was arrested on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy.

Later, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had complained to the Delhi Police about the same footage, submitting two video clips purportedly showing members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. The AAP said the clips showed “the real culprits behind the unrest in JNU”.

On Saturday afternoon, Vasant Kunj North Station House Officer Prabhu Dayal sent a letter to the Zee News office. The letter addressed to the Editor-in-Chief of Zee News was titled: “Request to produce the camera along with its original chip belonging to reporter Pawan Nara who had recorded the incident dated 9.2.2016 of JNU campus”.

Police sources said the original camera and memory card could be sent for forensic tests. “It is to inform your channel had telecast the incident regarding allegedly raising of anti national slogans/ activities by students of JNU Campus on 9.2.16. This incident was covered by your reporter Pawan Nara with his camera. A case vide FIR No. 110/16 dated 10.2.16 u/s 124A/4/120B IPC has been registered at police station Vasant Kunj North in this regard,” states the police letter.
Watch video: ABVP Students Raise Slogans At Delhi University

“You are requested to provide the camera of reporter Pawan Nara by which he had recorded the said incident along with its original chip containing the recording of this incident for the purpose of investigations,” it adds.

Asked about the request for the original footage, Police Commissioner B S Bassi said, “Whatever our investigation officer thinks is required for the investigation into the case, he is doing.”

Editor, Zee News, Sudhir Chaudhary confirmed police had approached them for the camera and the memory card containing the “original chip”. “Police on Saturday asked us for our reporter’s camera and memory card. We provided them with the camera and the P2 card on which the JNU incident footage is recorded. It is a routine procedure under the (Indian) Evidence Act,” he told The Sunday Express.

Asked about the videos shown on February 10, Chaudhary added, “The slogans are very clear for anybody to hear. We stand by the footage that was aired on Zee News. We have handed over all the raw footage to the Delhi Police already.”

Incidentally, the Delhi Police FIR of 10 days ago categorically stated that police had taken “certified” footage from Zee News. “We watched on a show aired on Zee News on February 10 students of JNU raising anti-national slogans and speeches. A letter was sent on February 10 requesting Editor Zee News Noida to give the video recording (News Clip) of the incident taken place on the JNU campus on February 9. On February 11, we took from Zee News the footage in the form of CD with covering letter from Zee News Editor Shreejit Sarkar. The above mentioned video CD was played and checked. It contained footage of the incident on February 9 in JNU.”

Joint Commissioner of Police (South-eastern range) R S Krishnia and Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Premnath did not respond to calls from The Sunday Express through Saturday.

After the AAP had claimed that ABVP members were behind the ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans allegedly made on the JNU campus on February 9, JNU ABVP president Aalok Singh, who was present during that protest, had said, “There are some ABVP members in the video, and some students who support our cause but are not members. At that point, the ABVP was shouting slogans such as ‘Bharatiya Court Zindabad’ and ‘Indian Army Zindabad’. We did this to counter anti-national slogans being raised at the time.”

On Thursday, TV news channels India Today TV and ABP News had aired programmes indicating that a video showing Kanhaiya purportedly shouting slogans for the freedom of Kashmir could have been doctored.