Emails allegedly exchanged between former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya and purported conversations between Khalid and three Kashmiri students are among evidence Delhi Police are relying on to strengthen their sedition case, filed in connection with a February 9, 2016, event on campus.
Police, in their chargesheet, claim this proves the students were planning a seditious event to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
Police also claimed that Khalid had sought to mislead forensic investigators when he was called in to give a handwriting sample, to match with the handwriting on a pro forma for booking venues in JNU.
Khalid, however, lashed out at “selective leaking” of the chargesheet by police and added: “It’s absolutely ridiculous to suggest that if the handwritings don’t match, it becomes a case of forgery.”
Vrinda Grover, the lawyer for one of the accused, said: “I haven’t seen the chargesheet so I can’t comment on how strong or weak the case is. If the police are saying they have video evidence, they will first have to prove its authenticity, genuineness and source in accordance with the law.”
“The charges will have to measure up to the court’s interpretation of sedition, not that of people on TV channels. The section of the IPC is frequently used to target dissenting views. Supreme Court’s 1962 judgment is very clear when it comes to what sedition means,” she said.
The police chargesheet states that Khalid and Anirban were asked to access their email IDs in the presence of an expert, and printouts of relevant emails and attachments were collected.
The chargesheet states: “The investigation exercise clearly establishes the fact that these two had exchanged the designs of the incriminating poster relating to Afzal Guru over emails. It is clear from these emails that Khalid and Anirban are speaking about ‘Azaadi of Kashmir’ from ‘occupation of India’ well before the programme to commemorate the execution of Guru. Slogans raised by both clearly go to show that they are trying to excite disaffection towards the idea of India and by advocating the terrorist acts committed by Guru and Maqbool Bhatt by glamorising them, and by calling them martyrs and freedom fighters of Kashmir. They were trying to incite hatred, contempt and disaffection towards the government established by law. The slogans like ‘Bharat tere tukde honge, Inshallah-inshallah’ and ‘Bharat ki barbadi tak jung rahegi, jung rahegi’ clearly indicate the nefarious and sinister objectives of this voice.”
Police also claim that Khalid, during questioning, denied knowing the accused Kashmiri students. “The Kashmiri students also denied knowing each other,” the officer said. However, police say in the chargesheet that call detail analysis proves they were in touch with each other before the event.
On Khalid’s handwriting, the chargesheet states: “The (Central Forensic Science Laboratory) expert also observed that the comparison of specimen writings marked S-1 to S-25 and admitted writings marked A-1 to A-13, both belonging to Khalid, reveal that they are not consistent with each other with respect to skill, speed, rhythm and line quality. This proves that the accused deliberately tried to disguise the investigating agency by concealing this natural flow of writing pattern.”