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‘Why Take 3 Years to File the Charge Sheet?’ Kanhaiya Kumar Questions Timing of Police Action in JNU Case

The former JNUSU president also termed it as "diversionary ploy by the Modi government to hide its all-round failures".


Updated:January 14, 2019, 9:26 PM IST
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‘Why Take 3 Years to File the Charge Sheet?’  Kanhaiya Kumar Questions Timing of Police Action in JNU Case
File photo of Kanhaiya Kumar.

New Delhi: After JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was named in a charge sheet by Delhi police on Monday, he termed the move as “politically motivated”. He also questioned the timing of the charge sheet, ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

"The charge sheet is politically motivated. However, we want the charges to be framed and a speedy trial in the case so that truth comes out. We also want to see the videos that have been placed on record as evidence by the police," Kumar was quoted as saying by PTI.

The former JNUSU president also termed it as "diversionary ploy by the Modi government to hide its all-round failures".

"We are thankful to police and (Prime Minister) Modi that finally after 3 years, when it is time for him and his government to go, the charge sheet has been filed. But what is pertinent is the timing of the charge sheet, just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

Kumar said the Modi government, just as all its other promises, was "not serious" and using the issue now as a political tool.

"If the government was really serious about the case and maintained that we did indulge in anti-national activities, then why did it take 3 years to file the charge sheet, that too just before the polls?," Kumar asked.

Delhi Police also charged former students - Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya - for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during an event organised on Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on February 9, 2016 to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru.

In a statement, Delhi Police said, "The charge sheet has been filed. Names of 10 persons have been sent to court, requesting to initiate a trial. Names of 36 persons have been put in the list of persons against whom sufficient evidence has not come on file so far to launch trial."

Khalid, who addressed a student gathering at St. Joseph's College in Bangalore on the "role of youth in safeguarding the Constitution", said, "We reject the allegations. The move to file charge sheet 3 years after the alleged incident is an attempt to divert attention (of people) right before elections. We will fight it out in court."

"We congratulate Delhi Police, Home Ministry and the government for waking up from their deep slumber 3 years after February 9, 2016, and barely 3 months before general elections 2019 and filing a charge sheet against us," Khalid and Bhattacharya said in a joint statement.

Others charged in the case are Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayees 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.

Former JNUSU leader Shehla Rashid, who had led the campaign for Kumar's release and other students, said, "This is a completely bogus case in which ultimately everyone will be acquitted. The timing of charge sheet right before the polls just reflects how BJP wants to reap electoral benefits out of this, especially after their defeat in the state polls recently. I was not even on campus on the day of the event."

"Modi government has used this manufactured controversy in installments. The next installment would be on the nomination day for 2019 elections," tweeted Rashid with"#JitteryModi".

The current JNUSU expressed solidarity with those named in the charge sheet.

"This submission of the charge sheet after a hiatus of 3 years is a clear case of vendetta and well-planned instruction from the Prime Minister's Office to whip up a frenzy and browbeat those who have emerged as critical voices to prime minister," the JNUSU said in a statement.

A case was registered on February 11, 2016 under Sections of 124 A (sedition) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code against unknown persons at Vasant Kunj (North) police station following complaints by BJP MP Maheish Girri and the ABVP.

The February 9 event happened despite the varsity administration having cancelled the permission following a complaint by the ABVP, who had termed it as "anti-national".

ABVP leader Saurabh Sharma, who had opposed the event on campus in 2016, welcomed the charge sheet saying "this decision is the victory of ABVP, it is the victory of the facts which were put in front of everyone by ABVP at that time itself. Moreover, it is a tight slap to Congress and all other political people supporting them like Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal".

"We believe in judiciary and wish that it will act hard on those who attacked on pride and dignity of this nation by shouting 'Bharat tere tukde honge'," he said.

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