Deeply concerned over JNU row, illegal detention of Geelani: CRPP

Kolkata, Feb 19 (IANS) The Committee For Release of Political Prisoners’ (CRPP) West Bengal chapter on Friday expressed “deep concern” over the incidents at JNU and the “illegal detention” of Delhi University’s former professor S.A.R. Geelani on charges of sedition.

It also condemned the “act of tyranny” of the BJP-led central government.

“CRPP West Bengal Chapter expresses deep concern over the recent developments in JNU, arising out of the programme of students union and subsequent crackdown by the Delhi Police at the instruction of home department of the central government and the arrest of (union president) Kanhaiya Kumar, under sedition sections of Indian Penal Code and the illegal detention of professor Geelani, the president of CRPP, for two days and his arrest on February 16 under seditious charges,” it said in a statement.

“CRPP in unequivocal terms condemns the act of tyranny of the BJP-led government at centre… in fact freedom of expression is under siege in India. It is being attacked under the cover of nationalism.”

A Delhi court on Friday rejected the bail application of Delhi University’s former professor S.A.R. Geelani, arrested on charges of sedition for allegedly organising an event at the Press Club of India to mark the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Geelani’s arrest comes amid the raging row over the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested on February 12 on charges of sedition for allegedly raising anti-national slogans at an event organised at the varsity campus on February 9 against the hanging of Afzal Guru.

“Geelani had been detained by the police reportedly at Parliament Street police station for two days in the name of interrogation in connection with an event relating to observation of death by hanging of Afzal Guru held in Press Club in Delhi,” said the CRPP, holding that the detention of Geelani is absolutely illegal, because detention without arrest is unknown to Indian law.

It said Geelani’s arrest is also “unacceptable because he is falsely implicated in the sedition case under pressure from the BJP-led government”.

“By booking Kanhaiya and Geelani under sedition charges, the government has abused grossly and nakedly the power conferred upon the Constitution,” the CRPP said and demanded their immediate release and withdrawal of charges.

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