Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid to be charged soon in sedition case, says Delhi police

This case pertains to 2016 when Umar Khalid, Kanhaiya Kumar and Anirban Bhattacharya were arrested on charges of sedition for organising an event that commemorated terrorist Afzal Guru.

The Delhi Police Commissioner, Amulya Patnaik has revealed that JNU ‘students’ and ‘activists’ Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya are going to be charged soon in the sedition case.

The Commissioner said that this case has taken longer to reach its conclusion because it was a complex case and the police also had to go to other states to take statements from several people.

This case pertains to 2016 when Umar Khalid, Kanhaiya Kumar and Anirban Bhattacharya were arrested on charges of sedition for organising an event that commemorated terrorist Afzal Guru. Afzal Guru was responsible for Pakistan sponsored the Parliament attack in 2001 which had shocked the nation.

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Earlier in December 2018, it was reported that Delhi police were ready with the draft chargesheet and Umar Khalid and Kanhaiya Kumar had been named as prime accused.

Allegedly, slogans like ‘Afzal hum sharminda hai, tere kaatil zinda hai” (Afzal we are ashamed that your killers are still alive), and ‘Bandook se lenge Azadi’ (We will snatch freedom from India by the gun) was raised during the event in the JNU campus. Afzal Guru, who had attacked the Parliament was given the death sentence by Indian Courts.

After Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were arrested in 2016, a political storm had erupted. The opposition had even accused the Delhi police of working at the behest of ruling BJP. Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party President, had travelled to JNU to support these ‘students’ and their ‘freedom of speech and expression’.

The prevalent narrative by several political parties opposing the BJP after this incident was that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is stifling “dissent”. With a chargesheet now to be filed against these “activists” for sedition soon, one wonders if the Congress and opposition parties will take the same line of argument yet again.

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.

The other accused, Umar Khalid is a son of a SIMI terrorist and had also openly condemned the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani in Kashmir and fanned anti-India sentiments.

Aside from asserting that the trio is going to be chargesheeted soon in the sedition case, Delhi Commissioner Amulya Patnaik also spoke about the Delhi Police’s track record in the past year.  Giving out figures of 2018, the Delhi Police in a presentation said that while heinous crime in Delhi declined by 11.72%, drugs peddling cases increased by 66.61% compared to last year. In heinous crime cases of dacoity decline by 36.11 %, murder was down 3.25%, attempt to murder was down by 16.26%, robbery declined by 20.15 %, riot declined by 54%, kidnapping for ransom dropped by 35.71%, and rape was down by 0.78%.

Delhi Police said that while rape cases have gone down, rape by known persons has increased with 43.47 % were committed by known persons and 22.86 % by unknown, 12.04% by relatives, 2.89% by employee and co-workers, and 16% by neighbours.

Among other crimes, snatching was down by 17.70 %, burglary declined by 59.05 %, and abduction cases went down by 18.61%. However, there was 6.01% rise in total IPC cases in 2018 (23,6476). In 2017 this was 22,3077 and 2016 it was 19,9107.

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