JNU sedition case chargesheet: Police named 14 students as witnesses, all with links to ABVPhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/jnu-sedition-chargesheet-police-named-14-students-as-witnessesall-with-links-to-abvp-5555643/

JNU sedition case chargesheet: Police named 14 students as witnesses, all with links to ABVP

Of the 14 students named as witnesses, 12 belonged to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), while two were sympathisers of the student outfit, The Indian Express has found.

JNU sedition chargesheet: Police named 14 students as witnesses,all with links to ABVP
JNU students protesting the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar in February, 2016. (Archive)

The Delhi Police, in its sedition chargesheet filed in connection with the February 9, 2016 event in JNU, has named 77 witnesses, including 24 police personnel, 14 JNU students and four employees of Zee News. The rest include security guards, faculty members, officials of the Computer Emergency Response Team and mobile operators.

Of the 14 students named as witnesses, 12 belonged to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), while two were sympathisers of the student outfit, The Indian Express has found:

Sandip Kumar Singh: Former JNU unit secretary (2012-13) and national executive member (2013-14) of the ABVP. He also contested for the post of general secretary in the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) elections in 2012 and lost.

Akhilesh Pathak: Although not an ABVP member, Pathak is a supporter of the organisation. Last year, he and other ABVP members were accused of disrupting the JNUSU election counting. “He is our sympathiser,” said former JNUSU joint secretary Saurabh Sharma. Pathak said he has “never been a member of ABVP”. He was critical of the February 9 incident, as well as the incident at Ramjas College in 2017 when clashes broke out between ABVP and Left organisations. At the time, he had written on Facebook: “Ramjas like incidents reflect the true relevance of organisations such as ABVP. No matter what the self-proclaimed, half-bred intellectuals have to say, it’s only ABVP that has kept the Left conspiracy away for a while.”

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Onkar Srivastava: State executive member of the ABVP who has previously been the organisation’s JNU unit joint secretary (2014-15) and vice-president (2016-17). He contested as a Councillor from the School of Languages, Literature & Culture Studies (SLL&CS) in 2014. In September last year, he alleged he was beaten up by Left activists in the aftermath of the JNUSU elections.

Alok Kumar Singh: Current national convenor of ABVP’s research wing. He was the JNU unit president of the ABVP in 2016 when the February 9 incident took place. He also contested for the post of JNUSU president in 2013 and lost to AISA. In March last year, Singh courted controversy when he sent out a document on behalf of professor Atul Johri — accused of sexual harassment by nine students — from his personal number, in response to the allegations.

Saurabh Sharma: Former JNUSU joint secretary from the ABVP. He won in 2015, bringing the ABVP back on the central panel after 14 years. He is currently a central working committee member of the ABVP. It was his win that brought the ABVP back into the political discourse on campus.

Ankur Aryan: Former office secretary of the ABVP’s JNU unit from 2016-18. He also contested as a councillor from the School of International Studies (SIS) in 2016.

Bhaskar Jyoti: He was the president of ABVP’s SIS unit in 2016-17, and an executive member of the organisation’s JNU unit in 2017-18. Jyoti also contested as a councillor from SIS in 2015. Following the February 9 incident, the ABVP had released a statement against a “doctored” video in which activists were purportedly seen raising slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. Jyoti was among the three people who ABVP claimed were visible in the video. They said the video was doctored to “malign the image” of the organisation.

Priyadarshi: She was the joint secretary of ABVP’s JNU unit in 2014-15 and also contested as a councillor from SIS in 2014. She, too, claimed she was attacked by Left activists in the aftermath of the JNUSU elections.

Anima Sonkar: She is currently the Delhi state joint secretary of the ABVP. Earlier, she has been joint secretary of the organisation’s JNU unit in 2015-16, and its vice-president from 2016-18. She also contested as a councillor from SIS in 2016.

Sukant Arya: He was joint secretary of the organisation’s JNU unit from 2016-18.

Binit Lal: He was the ABVP JNU unit vice-president in 2013-14.

Shruti Agnihotri: She contested as a councillor from SLL&CS in 2016 and then again last year. She was an executive member of the organisation in 2017-18. She, along with Jyoti, was among those who ABVP claimed were falsely shown raising slogans of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ in a “doctored” video after February 9. She also claimed she was assaulted by Left activists last year in post-poll violence.

Ram Nayan Verma: Current councillor from the School of Computational and Integrative Sciences (SCIS). Was also councillor in 2016. Verma did not contest under the ABVP banner but is a member of the organisation, confirmed Sharma. In the JNUSU council meeting held on February 19, 2016, he seconded a resolution proposed by Sharma which said, “The JNUSU condemns the anti-India and pro-Pakistan sloganeering on campus in the presence of JNUSU president and some other office-bearers. JNUSU also condemns them for not stopping such an act on spot and not filing any complaint against them with the JNU administration or the police. This shows open complicity in this condemnable act.”

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Anand Kumar: Although not an ABVP member, Kumar told The Indian Express he was an “ABVP supporter”. An assistant professor at DU said Kumar would campaign for the ABVP in hostels during JNUSU elections.