JNU Students’ Union leader held on sedition charge

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New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar was on Friday arrested in a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy, the police said.

Kumar was arrested on the charge of raising anti-India slogans at an event organised by the students to mark the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged in the Tihar Central Jail here on February 9, 2013.

The JNU student leader was arrested from a hostel in the university campus hours after union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called for action against ‘anti-national’ elements.

Police claimed that Kumar and other people were seen in a video raising anti-national slogans.

Kumar was presented before Metropolitan Magistrate Loveleen who remanded him in three-day police custody.

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The police told the court that Kumar’s interrogation is needed to ascertain his alleged links with some terrorist groups and identify other people shouting anti-national slogans along with him during the event.

The police informed the court that they were in search of five others identified as Umar Khalid, Anirvan Bhattacharya, Ashutosh, Anant Prakash and Rama Naga.

The magistrate also saw the video footage of the event submitted to him by the police.

Kanhaiya Kumar told the court that the police has implicated him in a false case.

Terming the case politically motivated, Kumar said he neither shouted any slogan nor said anything against the integrity of the country.

He said he had rushed to the spot only to prevent any clash between ABVP supporters and the students organising the event.

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On Thursday, the police had registered a case on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy against “unknown students” following complaints by Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha member Maheish Girri and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the students’ organisation associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The university witnessed violence between two student groups on Tuesday night over the holding of the event after which police was deployed there to maintain law and order.

The event allegedly saw the raising of anti-India slogans. The JNU authorities have instituted an inquiry as to how did the event take place despite withdrawal of permission and said they would wait for the probe report before taking action.

Another meeting was held at the Press Club of India in Delhi on Wednesday where too anti-India slogans were allegedly raised and objectionable placards displayed.

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The police on Friday registered an FIR against unknown people on a complaint filed by the PCI management against the organisers of the event for shouting pro-Afzal Guru slogans.

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