Granting six-month interim bail to Kanhaiya Kumar on Wednesday, Delhi High Court judge Pratibha Rani hoped that the Jawaharlal Nehru University student union president “might have introspected about the events that had taken place” during his 20-day custody.
Though his time in jail was brief, the assault on Kanhaiya in Patiala House court kept the issue boiling and had even spilled over to Jadavpur University.
A lot has happened ever since his arrest on February 12 for allegedly raising anti-national slogans at an event organised in JNU to condemn the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. The issue also put the government on collision course with the Opposition in Parliament. The start of the budget session saw heated exchanges between Opposition leaders and union ministers. In the midst of this political scrum, JNU student Umar Khalid, who was also wanted by Delhi Police, made a dramatic appearance inside the university after disappearing for days following Kanhaiya’s arrest and gave a speech before the administrative block. Umar eventually surrendered before police and is currently being interrogated for his alleged involvement in organising the Afzal Guru event.
Kanhaiya, who will be released from Tihar Jail Thursday, may shed more light on what happened in JNU on the day of the event.
Here are all the developments during Kanhaiya’s time in jail
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1) Lawyers assaulted journalists, JNU students and faculty members inside Patiala House court complex before Kanhaiya was to appear for hearing in the sedition case. Delhi BJP MLA OP Sharma was also caught on video beating a CPI leader outside the court.
2) HRD Minister Smriti Irani mixed emotion and aggression in her speech in Rajya Sabha over the JNU row and Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s death. She repeatedly quoted text from pamphlets allegedly distributed in JNU by students to celebrate “Mahishasura Day”.
3) ‘Stand with JNU’ campaign was launched by few students and faculty members, and “nationalism classes” were taught by distinguished personalities such as journalist P Sainath.
4) A producer from Zee News resigned alleging bias in the channel’s JNU coverage. The producer claimed that Zee aired footage of students chanting “Pakistan Zindabad” despite the video did not contain any such slogans were not heard in the audio.
5) A sting operation conducted by India Today caught advocates Vikram Singh Chauhan, Yashpal Singh and Om Sharma boasting how they had beaten Kanhaiya for three hours till he wet his pants.
6) In a show of solidarity, JNU students and faculty members marched from Jantar Mantar to Mandi House demanding Kanhaiya’s release and dropping of charges against other students.
7) Days after assaulting journalists and JNU students, lawyers, led by Vikram Singh Chauhan, marched from Patiala House court to India Gate to condemn “anyone who is anti-national”.
8) Hackers defaced the JNU library website and posted a message that read India “kills each and every person who will go against the nation.”
9) Three ABVP members resigned citing “difference of opinion” over the way the government handled the JNU situation. Criticising the Centre for “unleashing oppression on the student community”, they said they cannot be the “mouthpiece of such a government”.
10) Umar Khalid, against whom a lookout notice was issued by Delhi Police, resurfaced outside JNU’s administrative block. Addressing a small gathering, Umar began his speech saying “I’m Umar Khalid and I am not a terrorist.”