Five video recordings of the alleged sedition case against former JNU Student’s Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others is part of the evidence in the chargesheet filed before a Delhi court Monday afternoon, according to Delhi Police sources. Police claim the recordings — one obtained from Zee News and four from mobile phones of onlookers — are crucial since they “confirm anti-national activities followed by violence”.
The chargesheet was filed in the court of link Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand, who has kept it for consideration in the “appropriate court”.
It names Kumar, former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, and others for shouting alleged anti-India slogans during an event on campus on February 9, 2016, held to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru. The three were earlier arrested and are currently out on bail.
According to the chargesheet, video footage is available where Khalid is allegedly seen “raising and supporting anti-national slogans”. Call detail records also prove his contact with Bhattacharya and three other accused, including Kumar, the chargesheet states.
Kumar, as per the chargesheet, is “seen leading the students, who were (raising) anti-national slogans”.
“Many non-cognizable reports (NCRs) were filed after the anti-national sloganeering in JNU… We have video footage and call detail records of their mobile phones, which establishes their presence at the spot. We also have oral evidence, such as statements of security guards who don’t have any ulterior motive. We have documentary evidence and technical evidence such as video footage (of them) raising ‘anti-national’ slogans,” a senior police officer privy to the investigation claimed.
Police claimed there was criminal conspiracy in the case because the accused started working before the “incident”. “Text messages were exchanged between Kanhaiya and Umar Khalid, which were obtained, leading to the procession and sloganeering,” the chargesheet states, according to the officer.
Seven other Kashmiri students who were accused, but not arrested, are Aqueeb Hussain, a doctor; Mujeeb Hussain Gattoo, then JNU student; Muneeb Hussain Gattoo and Umair Gul, then Aligarh Muslim University students; Rayees Rasool, then freelance journalist; Khalid Bashir Bhat, then JNU student; and Basharat Ali, then Jamia student.
The accused have been booked under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 143 (punishment for being a member of an unlawful assembly), 149 (being a member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
Police have also booked Khalid under IPC sections 465 (punishment for forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record). Explaining the additional sections, a senior officer claimed: “We found that Khalid forged signatures of other students, marking their presence in the sloganeering.”
On the delay in filing the chargesheet, the officer said: “The Kashmiri students had gone back to their hometown… it was difficult to locate them. Also, Burhan Wani was killed after which there was a complete shutdown in the Valley, slowing our investigation.”
As many as 36 others, including Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja’s daughter Aparajitha, Shehla Rashid (then vice-president of JNUSU), Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Banojyotsna Lahiri have been named in the chargesheet. However, these names are listed under column 12, which, according to police, means they don’t have “sufficient evidence” against them.
The chargesheet states that they were present at the protest, but none of them are seen raising or supporting seditious slogans. Police said that there are around 90 witnesses in the case.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines