Updated: January 15, 2019 1:24:20 pm
A Delhi court Tuesday set January 19 for consideration of chargesheet against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the 2016 JNU sedition case. The chargesheet was filed against Kanhaiya and others by the Delhi Police on Monday, saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the varsity campus on February 9, 2016, at an event to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru.
The court pushed the matter for hearing on January 19 as Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat was on leave Tuesday.
Police also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during the event.
Meanwhile, Kanhaiya said that the charges against him are politically motivated and that he would not mind facing the trail in the court of law. Speaking to The Indian Express, Kumar said, “This chargesheet has come just before the election. All over the country, there is simmering anger against the government, which is under pressure from the public… Opposition parties are coming together to defeat the BJP government… To target this unity, the BJP is pressing all buttons… in panic mode.”
“The case has been politically motivated from the start. This was BJP-RSS’ plan. We were demanding that a chargesheet be filed quickly, and we thank them for finally doing it. We now demand a speedy trial so that doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani ho jaye (things become clear),” he added.
In a joint statement, Khalid and Bhattacharya said, “We reject the charges and will contest them legally… We are convinced about our innocence, and have full faith in the court…”
Former JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid and Aparajitha Raja, daughter of CPI leader D Raja, who have also been named in the chargesheet, but whose direct involvement could not be established by the police, also concurred.
“This is a completely bogus case; if it had gone to trial by now, everyone would have been acquitted. But the government is stalling it to reap the political dividends in installments…,” Rashid told The Indian Express.
Aparajitha Raja also said it was a “cooked-up” case and that “the timing of the chargesheet shows the sheer desperation of the government”.
(With inputs from PTI)
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