Of the 17 eyewitnesses named by the Delhi Police to corroborate the sedition case against JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, the four who said Kumar raised “anti-national” slogans are all members of the ABVP.
Among the other eyewitnesses, a senior JNU security officer stated that Kumar led the procession. The remaining 12 — which includes other JNU security personnel and an ABVP office-bearer — have stated that “anti-national” slogans were raised by 15 to 20 students and Kumar was also present.
According to south district police’s evidence report into the probe, “Kanhaiya Kumar is seen by the eyewitness accompanying the procession of JNU students forming unlawful assembly and raising anti-national slogans. In video footage of 30 minutes collected officially from Zee News, Kanhaiya is seen at 17:30 minutes accompanying the procession.”
The report against Kumar has statements from five JNU students, including one ABVP office-bearer. He has stated, “… Mentioned that there was gathering of about 15 to 20 students who were raising anti-national slogans. Kumar was also present there.”
The other four ABVP members, listed as JNU students in the report, have stated, “… mentioned that on 9/2/16 that said anti-national slogan (raised) by the organiser along with JNUSU president Kumar.”
JNU ABVP president Alok Singh confirmed that the four JNU students were members of the ABVP. “One of them has been with us since last year, but the other two are new members,” he said.
The police report also said “Kumar himself has not denied his presence at the spot”.
The evidence report also stated: “That was an illegal procession as there was no official permission in this regard as per the chief security officer of JNU and since the procession was more than five persons, who ultimately committed offense under section 147/149 of the Indian Penal Code.”
The report also cites the reason why criminal conspiracy was used along with sedition charges. “Since permission was obtained on the false pretext of holding a cultural programme, by main organisers Umar Khalid and Anirban, which later turned out to be anti-national activity, it proved that it was preconceived and well-planned conspiracy by the accused persons for committing the said anti-national activity, hence sedition 120B of the IPC is added to the case.”
On Monday, a team of the Delhi Police Special Cell officially took over the case, two days after orders from police chief B S Bassi, who retired today.
Special Cell officers went to the R K Puram police station in south Delhi where Umar and Anirban were kept due to the security reasons. After being produced before a makeshift court, where their custody was extended for a day, both were taken to the Lodhi Colony office of the anti-terror unit.
Sources said the officials also questioned a photo copier from south Delhi, where the event’s poster was printed. The posters were pasted at the campus and also circulated on social media.
Another student, Ashutosh, who was questioned by local police on Saturday and Sunday, has been asked to join the probe Tuesday at the Special Cell’s Lodhi Colony office.