After almost three years of the February 2016 event at JNU for the commemoration of terrorist Afzal Guru, Delhi Police’s special cell is going to submit the charge sheet at Patiala House Court shortly. As per a report in The Indian Express, Kanhiaya Kumar, who was the JNUSU president at that time, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya have been reportedly named as the main accused in the draft charge sheet.
The row which dates back to February 2016, hit the national headlines when videos of students raising anti-India and pro-Afzal Guru slogans came to surface. The slogans were allegedly raised by students of JNU and other Kashmiri students. At that time, Delhi police had nabbed student union AISF member and JNU Student Union President Kanhiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya after the case was filed against them under Sections 124-A for sedition and 120-B for criminal conspiracy. They were later released on bail.
The charge sheet along with these three, also mention other 8 Kashmiri Students, including some students of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia. According to reports, the police have gathered evidence against these persons. They also said that evidence is also backed by data collected from accused’s Facebook profiles. The raw footages of the event with Delhi Police also came out as undoctored by Central Forensic Science Laboratory. This is also going to be submitted as evidence.
Along with these students, the name of other 32 also appears in the charge sheet, including the name of Former vice-president of Student Union Shela Rashid. But, according to police, they don’t have enough evidence to substantiate charges against them.
The row had gained momentum after Congress President Rahul Gandhi and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal along with communist leaders openly supported the accused students and had condemned the arrests. Kanhiaya Kumar and even many leftist media outlets have time and again challenged the government to come out with the charge sheet and prove that charges against students.
Kanhiya Kumar is also reportedly going to contest 2019 Lok Sabha elections, on a CPM ticket from Begusarai of Bihar. Recently, an FIR was lodged against him by the hospital administration of Patna’s AIIMS following an altercation with junior doctors. He was also accused of being involved in a violent clash with the organisers of a Durga Puja committee in Begusarai.
Vrinda Grover, Kanhaiya Kumar’s lawyer, said that she was not aware of the status of the charge sheet and asserted that the case against Kanhaiya is politically motivated as he is set to contest 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The charge sheet comprises of around 100 pages and reportedly contains forensic reports and technical evidence. As per reports, the charge sheet has been sent to the public prosecutor for vetting and will soon be filed in the Patiala House Court.