Umar Khalid, friends show up in JNU, police wait outside campus

Police had last week named five students, including Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and Ashutosh, alleging they were part of an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

Written by Aranya Shankar , Kedar Nagarajan | New Delhi | Updated: February 22, 2016 3:45 pm
khalid-jnu759 Umar Khalid at JNU on Sunday night (Source: Express Photo)

More than ten days after the protest in JNU against Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging, at least six university students facing charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy for their alleged role in organising the event surfaced on the campus late on Sunday night.

Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Ashutosh Kumar, Anant Prakash Narayan, Riyazul Haq and Rama Naga addressed a small gathering of students outside the administration block.

The February 9 event had triggered protests in Delhi and led to the arrest of JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition. On Friday, police had issued Look Out Circulars against Khalid, Haq and Bhattacharya to prevent them from leaving the country.

Police arrived at JNU soon after they received information about the students’ presence, but did not enter the campus. “We cannot enter the campus to make arrests without permission from the JNU administration. We will wait outside the campus if they want to surrender,” said a senior police officer.

The students said they had not appeared in public earlier, fearing “mob violence”. “We saw what was happening in the media and social media, and feared attacks,” said Naga.

While Khalid and Bhattacharya are former members of the Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), Naga is the general secretary of JNUSU, Kumar a former president and Narayan a former vice-president.

“My name is Umar Khalid and I’m not a terrorist. If Jaish-e-Mohammed gets to know that I was linked to their organisation, they’ll start protesting outside the RSS office,” Khalid told the gathering.

“I have never projected myself as a Muslim while doing politics on campus. I always tried to see exploitation of Muslims along with the exploitation faced by Dalits, tribals and others,” said Khalid.

“I missed you guys a lot. My only contact with the outside world was electronic media, which was painting a dystopic picture. I want to thank you for all the solidarity. You people came to show solidarity. This attack was not because of slogans, it was because the government needed an excuse. We saw the doctored videos,” said Khalid.

JNUSU vice president Shehla Rashid said they would be maintaining a night vigil and record all related events on campus. Till 11.50 pm, Umar and Bhattacharya raised slogans in support of Kanhaiya Kumar who is in judicial custody.

“Kanhaiya tum sangharsh karo. Hum tumhare saath hain (Keep fighting Kanhaiya, we are with you),” Khalid said to resounding cheers.

Khalid’s family, meanwhile, said they had heard from him for the first time in nearly 10 days on Sunday.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Khalid’s father Dr S Q R Ilyas said, “I got a call from one of his friends at around 11 pm to say they are all back on campus. They have all returned, and I am thankful for that. They are all safe.”

Asked if Khalid would be returning home, Dr Iylas said, “I would like him to. But I don’t know what they will decide. I hope he comes home, we have all been worried,” he said.

(With inputs from Mahender Singh Manral)

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  1. W
    Feb 22, 2016 at 4:14 am
    "The students said they had not appeared in public earlier, fearing “mob violence”. “We saw what was happening in the media and social media, and feared attacks,” said Naga" A true-spirited Jihadi, dedicated to the goal of breaking India into 100s of pieces shouldn't fear trivial dangers like mob violence!
    1. A
      Anand bagaria
      Feb 24, 2016 at 8:47 am
      All the students who raised there voice against India there sisters should be raped in the same manner innocent nirbhaya was raped then only they will come to know
      1. B
        Feb 22, 2016 at 5:38 am
        Why is this terrorist b tta rdd still alive ,shoot this pig
        1. I
          Feb 21, 2016 at 11:39 pm
          Its a crime to be Anti- National not Muslim. Why do Indian Muslims are Anti-National ?
          1. H
            Feb 21, 2016 at 8:44 pm
            How can the University allow these terrorists and wanted criminals inside the campus? This definitely endangers other peace loving students. The University authorities should call the police to arrest them before they escape again.
            1. H
              Feb 22, 2016 at 7:39 am
              The "student" terrorists are openly daring the government, "Can you arrest us? If you arrest us, our sponsors and allies Congress and Communists will block the Parliament".
              1. F
                Feb 21, 2016 at 9:05 pm
                Butcher Modi is freely roaming. Police is waiting at JNU gate to arrest Patriots. Death to BRAHMINISM!
                1. S
                  Feb 21, 2016 at 9:09 pm
                  Great job guys at JNU! Proud of you! Don't ever give up. What ever come may! Criminal Brahmin scoundrels will try all sorts of their family traits, including accusing that you raped their women folks. They don't have any rules or shame you see.
                  1. K
                    Kanu Patel
                    Feb 22, 2016 at 5:41 am
                    You may or may not be sympathetic to terrorism but your atude and activities compel to believe that your atude and activities are against the unity and integrity of India. Your sympathy towards Afazal indicates that you have sympathy for criminals and you are anti judiciary. Why did not you clarify about your statement for Afazal and Kashmir ?
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