Kanhaiya Kumar to SC-appointed panel: I was on the ground, being kicked, punched

Excerpts from Kanhaiya Kumar’s statement to SC-appointed panel

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: February 28, 2016 2:53 am
Kanhaiya Kumar, head of the student's union at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), is escorted by police outside the Patiala House court in New Delhi, February 17, 2016. Fighting broke out on Wednesday around Delhi's Patiala House court hearing a case against Kumar accused of sedition, a charge that has sparked protests across university campuses and criticism the government was curtailing free speech.Express Photo BY- Praveen Khanna Kanhaiya Kumar, head of the JNU student’s union, is escorted by police outside the Patiala House court in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

The transcript of the video recording begins with advocate Vrinda Grover, counsel for Kanhaiya Kumar, informing the Supreme Court-appointed commission that Kanhaiya was assaulted inside the court premises. She identifies the attacker, who wore dark glasses, as a ‘suited booted’ man. Later, JNU faculty member Himanshu — who was in the same court room — tells the commission that three police officers allowed the attacker to go. He also asked the police to arrest the attacker. It was at this point, that Jatin Narwal, DCP (New Delhi), enters.

Kapil Sibal: When he told you that person was here and beating (Kanhaiya), why didn’t you arrest him?
Jatin Narwal, DCP, New Delhi: (stammering) I immediately rushed (inside). I did not know… they were attackers.
Dushyant Dave: How did you allow the attack to take place in court premises?
Jatin: The attack had not taken place. What happened sounds…
Dushyant: Your men are posted everywhere?
Jatin: Our men are posted.
Dushyant: So what are they doing? Sleeping?
Jatin: We had made arrangements and, in fact, a lot more…
Dushyant: What kind of arrangements? That let him be beaten? What were your arrangements, sir ?

***

Watch video | It looked as if they were prepared to attack me on my arrival: Kanhaiya Kumar JNUSU President

Kapil: Why did you let him enter ?
Jatin: He came with an escort party.
Kapil: Which escort party? How do you allow someone to enter?

***

Jatin: They entered that room (Pointing outside the door).
Unidentified voice: How did they enter?
Jatin: He was coming from Gate 5.

***

Harin Raval: How did you know he was coming with an escort party and who authorised the escort ?
Jatin: Which escort? Nahi, Sir…
Harin: You said he came with an escort.
Jatin: Sir.
Dushyant: Was he on your list ?
Jatin: No. No, sir.
Kapil: How did he enter then?
Jatin: There were different officers….
Dushyant: What is his name ? Have you arrested him now or did you allow him to run away ?
Jatin: No, no, we will identify and then arrest him, sir.
Dushyant: What do you mean “identify”? How can he leave the court premises?
Jatin: We don’t know that he is…
Dushyant: What do you mean you don’t know? What are your men doing ? Do your men have instructions not to intervene?
Dushyant: It’s a shame. Did you not know of the Supreme Court order?…
Himanshu: He had a copy of the order.
Jatin: That is why we had made the arrangements.
Dushyant: No sir, you are deliberately doing it. We will ask for suspension of all these officers.

***

Kapil: He says he asked you how that man came in and that he also asked you to arrest him.
Jatin : Sir, there was no talk of arrest.
Registrar General of High Court: Didn’t I ask you to catch this guy ?
Jatin : Sir, we were probing him.
Dushyant (to Jatin): So you were inside the room?
Registrar: Sir, there were 10 to12 police officers here along with him.

***

Jatin: I asked them how did you come here?
Kapil: How did he get in? And when they told you “ki usko pakdo” how did he get out ?

***

Jatin: That was the escort party. Sir, the moment I asked him his name, he told me he will tell me.
Dushyant: Who were the 12-13 others with you? Tell us their names.
Jatin: Sir, it was the south district team.
Kapil: Get us the names of south district team.

***

Harin: …When the Registrar General says he asked you to arrest that man, did you or did you not arrest him?
Jatin: The moment I got to know, I ran.
Harin: But he said you were inside the room.
Jatin: Sir, I was not inside. I had gone out.
Registrar: No sir, he was inside the room along with 10-12 officers.
Kapil: Then?
Jatin: No sir, there was a time gap. The moment I got to know that they were there I ran and chased them.

What Kanhaiya told the panel:

Sir, the police got me here. First of all, I was brought from the gate this way. I don’t know the gate number through which I was brought to the court. The media surrounded me near the gate. No sooner did the police escort me… inside the gate, a mob dressed in advocate attire attacked me. As a result, I fell down.
Kapil Sibal: How far inside the gate were you?
Kanhaiya: I had just entered. It seemed as if they were waiting fully-prepared to attack, since from amongst the people who were beating me up, some were calling out to others shouting, “He has come… he has come”. On the way, sometimes motorbikes were falling, sometimes I was falling on them. While entering the court premises near the x-ray machine, I was pushed inside it in such a manner that my pants came off. Later, my T-shirt and sandals also came off. My leg was injured and I was kicked and punched in the abdomen. As soon as I managed to rescue myself from the clutches of one person, another person would start beating me up.
Dushyant: How many policemen were with you at that time?
Kanhaiya: The policemen with me were also beaten up.
Jatin intervened: Sir, a policeman has been attacked with a blade. The one in the rear, from south district who was escorting…
Kapil: Then what were police doing, if policemen were being beaten up?

***

Kanhaiya: I couldn’t see anything, Sir. I was lying on the ground. I was being kicked and punched in my stomach and chest.

***

Kanhaiya: After appraising them, he leaves. He didn’t give a damn about the police and walked out right in front of them.
Kapil: Police didn’t do any thing?
Kanhaiya: Absolutely nothing. He managed his exit right in front of them. He could have been nabbed… I told them, ‘sir, this man was beating me. I want to file a complaint against him’.
Kapil: Can you recollect which police officer you said this to?

***

Kanhaiya: My advocate Vrinda asked him where his nameplate was since he was accompanying me. He was holding my hand. He said his nameplate must have fallen off in the scuffle. I had asked him to arrest this man. I told him that I want to file a complaint against this guy. He was beating me up. I can identify him as he was the first person to beat me up near the gate. I have seen him.

***

Kanhaiya: …Along with the beating, they were hurling abuses at me.
Kapil: So they were just standing by themselves?
Kanhaiya: I have said everything in detail. I don’t know (if) they were lawyers or not but from what they were saying, I think they were highly politically-motivated persons.

***

Kanhaiya: This is what I told the judge, that ‘sir, when I first came to your court, there were only four persons. Nobody had attacked me. I was produced in a normal manner. I narrated the entire incident. I told the judge that day that I had no lawyer, please recollect. That day I had also told the judge that I am a young citizen of this country (at this point Kanhaiya breaks down and starts crying). I study in JNU.”
Kapil Sibal and others try consoling him.
Kanhaiya: By portraying me as a traitor, the media is conducting my trial, not the entire media though.
Dushyant and others: Son, don’t worry about that. Tell us about today. What did the judge do?
Kanhaiya: After that, I told the judge that, ‘See sir, this issue has been highlighted so much and I had told you on the first day that I have full faith in the Constitution.’
Kapil: That is right. Please tell us what the judge said.
Kanhaiya: The judge said he will see. My lawyer said I need a medical examination. The judge said if you take him outside, there is a possibility he may be attacked once again. I will get him treated at the dispensary here. I told the judge that’ I am terrorised and in a state of fear’.
Rajeev Dhavan: Was there any attack in the court thereafter?
Kanhaiya: Not in this room… the other room (pointing to room outside).
Rajeev Dhavan: Tell us about the other room.
Kanhaiya: That man attempted to… he is the same man who entered the room. He was sitting and planning to definitely do something to me judging by the manner in which I was attacked…