Published: 06th February 2019
Sedition case involving JNU students is exhaustive and is taking time, Rajya Sabha told
The police charged former JNU students Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during an event on the university campus on February 9, 2016
The sedition case involving some students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is exhaustive, involving many accused, witnesses and hence the matter is taking time, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said the Delhi Police has filed a charge sheet in the case registered with the Vasant Kunj (North) in Delhi under sections 124-A/147/149/120-B/34 of IPC against some students and leaders of JNU in the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate on January 14, 2019.
"As reported by Delhi Police, the investigation was exhaustive, involving many accused/suspects, exhibits and witnesses, and hence, the time taken," he said replying to a written question on whether it is a fact that the Delhi Police has filed a charge sheet against JNU student leaders for sedition.
The police also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during an event on the university campus on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru.
The others charge-sheeted in the case are Kashmiri students Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rassol, Bashir Bhat and Basharat. As many as 36 others, including Communist Party of India (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 charge sheet due to insufficient evidence against them, police sources said.
Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Anand put up the charge sheet for consideration before a competent court on Tuesday. The accused have been charged with offenses under sections 124A (sedition), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 465 (punishment for forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 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) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The charge sheet also contains CCTV footage, mobile footage and documentary evidence. The police have alleged that Kumar had incited the mob to shout anti-India slogans. A case was registered on February 11, 2016 under sections 124A and 120B of the IPC against unidentified persons at the Vasant Kunj (North) police station, following complaints from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Maheish Girri and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
The said event had taken place despite the university administration canceling the permission, following a complaint from the ABVP, which had termed it as "anti-national".
However, Kanhaiya Kumar termed the move as "politically motivated" and questioned its timing, ahead of the parliamentary election. "The charge sheet is politically motivated. However, we want the charges to be framed and a speedy trial in the case so that the truth comes out. We also want to see the videos that have been placed on record as evidence by the police," he said