JNU row: Suspense over arrest of Umar Khalid, others continues; Bassi says students must prove innocence

Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi on Monday met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and briefed him about the JNU row, for which the force drew severe criticism from several quarters.

Written by Aditi Vatsa , Pritha Chatterjee | New Delhi | Updated: February 23, 2016 4:03 am
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Hours after five JNU students, against whom a lookout notice had been issued by Delhi Police, surfaced on the campus, Delhi Police chief B S Bassi said if the students were innocent, they should produce evidence.

“Police are looking for them, they should join the probe. If they are innocent, they should produce evidence. Delhi Police is a law-abiding body and we do not indulge in any injustice against anyone…,” he said Monday.

On the “doctored videos” doing the rounds in the media and authenticity of the those which police have probed, Bassi said, “We always verify whatever footage we use in a probe. The footage in our possession have been sent for verification.”

Earlier in the day, Bassi also met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and briefed him about the incident.

 

Meanwhile, JNU turned into a fortress as students gathered at the administration block while police kept vigil outside the gates.

Senior university officials once again said they had not had any interaction with the police. JNU Registrar Bupinder Zutshi said, “Police have not approached us or sought permission for entry into the campus. We have not had any interaction with the police since the students surfaced.”

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The five students — Anirban Bhattacharya, Umar Khalid, Ashutosh, Rama Naga and Anant Prakash — who turned up in JNU late Sunday night remained at the administration block, surrounded by around 20 campus security guards, friends and teachers.

At 3 pm, JNUTA members met the vice-chancellor and submitted a list of demands. Expressing shock at the role of the administration, JNUTA general secretary Bikramaditya Choudhary said, “The role that the administration has played since the beginning… has been shocking. Not only did the administration not stand up in defence of the university, but it became a willing instrument of the attack on JNU.”

“… After first surrendering the university’s autonomy by giving police full access to the campus and to the university’s records, the administration began a parallel process of victimising students already being targeted by police,” said Choudhary.

The students’ union and JNUTA continued to underline their demands — sedition and criminal conspiracy charges against all JNU students be dropped, expansion of the inquiry committee, no police presence on campus.

Historian and JNU faculty member Aditya Mukherjee, said, “The entire JNUTA has been standing up not for the slogans that were raised but the right of students to have an opinion. By naming specific teachers who have been active in politics for years and suggesting they are colluding in sinister act is gross misrepresentation of facts…”

Meanwhile, members of the right-wing students’ group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) accused the administration and some JNU teachers of backing students. “Police should be allowed to conduct their investigation and action should be taken against the accused. We have received information that some teachers were backing these students and provided them shelter. This is a serious issue and an inquiry should be conducted,” said Alok Singh, JNU ABVP unit president.

The inquiry panel formed by the varsity to look into the issue asked the authorities for a week’s extension to submit the report, which was granted.

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  1. B
    bonku
    Feb 22, 2016 at 10:26 pm
    "(fabricated) Footage telecast on Zee News formed the basis of the Delhi police’s suo motu FIR on the incident following which JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested." Only s act that way.... Charging one of the most damaging charge without bothering to verify the only 'proof' the Delhi Police had is itself goes beyond negligence or incompetence but should be a criminal act. Police and its political master, if involved here, should be investigated and prosecuted.
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      bonku
      Feb 22, 2016 at 2:25 pm
      Indian Govt used this notorious, British colonial era sedition charge, probably, more than the British did. And almost ALL the time it's used in a very vindictive way and NEVER been substantiated in a court of law. Neither Congress nor BJP is interested to abolish this anti-national law, even though every freedom fighter indicated that way, including hiji and Nehru. "In 1951, Nehru said in Parliament, "that particular section is highly objectionable and obnoxious and it should have no place... in any body of laws... sooner we get rid of it, the better." In most cases, the currently used (by BJP-RSS gang members) logic of "incitement of violence" was not there at all, yet many people was charged with sedition. Even in this present case, the person, who actually shouted the 'anti-national' slogans (that Kashmiri Muslim guy) was not charged with sedition. For some strange reason, it was Kanhiya! If "incitement of violence" clause is universally implemented, in an unbiased way, many, if not most, of our political leaders should be behind bars and/or charged with sedition. The India Times article shows that NOT many even the hardcore JK, Punjab, NE and many more separatists/terrorists and politicians (who later became CM and central ministers too) were charged with sedition..... More unfortunate, not a single sedition charge was substantiated in a court of law- ie. 100% failure rate for police/authority. In any civilized country, it would raise many questions and The police/authority ordering such charges would have been investigated/prosecuted.
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        bonku
        Feb 22, 2016 at 2:29 pm
        Police and its political authority need to be investigated IF the sedition charge against Kanhiya (who did NOT said those 'anti-national' slogans shown in the FABRICATED video, used by BJP, ABVP and later Police), is not substantiated in the court. Police MUST be held accountable. And any political authority who might have forced police to do that also need to be investigated.
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          Deb
          Feb 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm
          Wtf ?? The criminal justice system says the authority needs to prove guilt of the accused beyond any reasonable doubt !!! Since when it is turned the opposite? Since modi became pm ?
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          1. t
            teRroriStS. RSS
            Feb 23, 2016 at 1:54 am
            To arrest teRroriStS police need permission!
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            1. I
              IndianDemocracy
              Feb 22, 2016 at 5:58 pm
              Your response is what logicians would call anecdotal fallacy or appeal to false analogy. You miss the point entirely. Freedom of speech gives me and you the right to voice our opinions. Sure, if I abuse my parents, they would be very unhappy. Fortunately, unlike you, I was raised by parents who would rather try to settle issues through dialog and not violence. The response to offensive speech is not governmental tyranny. The correct response is counter-speech in the marketplace of ideas. But that requires moral strength and lack of corruption. There is not much in our politicians or our countrymen/women.
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              1. G
                Guru
                Feb 22, 2016 at 12:49 pm
                Guilty unless proven innocent is Model Police motto according to BS Bi. Everyone in Delhi is guilty until they can prove they are innocent.
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                  MyTake
                  Feb 22, 2016 at 7:15 pm
                  ... ...That includes playing political game with religion that says politics is part of it's agenda.
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                  1. M
                    MyTake
                    Feb 23, 2016 at 1:11 am
                    If some one is already charged he or sheobviously give explanation you dude!
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