The Delhi Police on Monday filed a 12,000-page chargesheet against ten people, including student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, in a sedition case for allegedly raising “anti-national slogans” during an event on Jawaharlal Nehru University campus in February 2016.
Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Anand will consider the chargesheet on Tuesday. Others named in the chargesheet include Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rasool, Bashir Bhat and Basharat.
Charges have been filed under IPC 124 A (sedition), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine, forged document), 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 149 (unlawful assembly with common object), 147 (rioting) and 120B.
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Kumar, who was the JNU students’ union president at the time, said the timing of the filing of the chargesheet just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections indicated that it was politically motivated.
“If the news is true that a chargesheet has been filed, I would like to thank police and Modi Ji. The filing of chargesheet after 3 years, ahead of elections clearly shows it to be politically motivated. I trust the judiciary of my country,” ANI quoted Kumar as saying.
As many as 36 others, including CPI leader D Raja’s daughter Aprajita, Shehla Rashid (then vice-president of the JNUSU), Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Banojyotsna Lahiri have been named in column 12 of the chargesheet due to insufficient evidence against them, PTI quoted police sources as saying.
Reacting to the development, Raja said the charges were politically motivated while claiming that AISF cannot be accused of doing any activities against the nation.
“Nobody can accuse AISF of any activity against the nation. There is nothing to prove, our students can’t indulge in such activities and the government can’t slap sedition charges on them. We will fight the case in the court,” ANI quoted Raja as saying.
Khalid said that a chargesheet is typically filed 90 days after the registration of an FIR and not 90 days before the next election.
The chargesheet, which was filed by a special cell of the Delhi Police at the Patiala House court, is based on an FIR filed days after the event was held on February 9, 2016, to protest the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
The FIR stated that “anti-national” slogans were allegedly raised at the event. The event happened despite the varsity administration cancelling the permission following a complaint by the ABVP.
Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were arrested in 2016 for allegedly organising the event. Later, all three were released on bail. Initially, a case was registered at Vasant Kunj (north) police station on February 11, 2016, under IPC Section 124-A (sedition). The case was later transferred to the Delhi Police special cell.