Kanhaiya assaulted in court complex; in jail till March 2

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was on Wednesday assaulted by a mob of 20-25 people when he was taken amid tight security to a Delhi court, which sent him in judicial custody till March 2.

Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen sent Kanhaiya, arrested on February 12 on the charge of sedition, to Tihar jail after the Delhi Police said the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president was no more required for questioning in the case.

Meanwhile, Kanhaiya Kumar told the court that a mob attacked him while he was being escorted from a police vehicle to the court room. The mob even attacked police escorting him, he said.

A person wearing sunglasses and a black coat succeeded in entering the corridor outside the court room where Kanhaiya was to be presented, Kanhaiya’s counsel Vrinda Grover told the court.

Kanhiaya told the court that he told Delhi Police officials present in the corridor about the man who attacked him outside the court room.

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A JNU staffer Himanshu, who was allowed by the Supreme Court to remain present during the court hearing, told the court he asked the Delhi Police to arrest the man who however argued with policemen and escaped.

Kanhiaya’s counsel told the lower court that despite Supreme Court directions, police failed to save the student leader and allowed the attackers to run away.

The defence urged the court for action against the Delhi Police for its failure in maintaining law and order in the court complex.

Grover apprised the court that Kanhaiya was brutally assaulted and he also lost his footwear in this incident. However, police later managed to find his missing footwear and restored it to him.

The court said it was taking the matter on record and asked Kanhaiya to give a written statement on the incident.

Observing a serious threat to Kanhaiya, the court also directed for his medical examination in the court room itself. A doctor from the Patiala House courts dispensary was summoned for the JNU student leader’s medical.

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Kanhaiya was brought to the court around 2:45 p.m., panting and apparently frightened.

He told the court he had not said anything against the nation and he had full faith in the constitution and judicial system.

“If there is evidence against me, then send me to jail; if not, there should be no media trial against me,” Kanhaiya told the court.

After the lower court hearing in the case, a team of senior advocates – Kapil Sibal, Ajit Kumar Sinha, Dushyant Dave, Harin Rawal, Rajeev Dhawan and A.G.N. Rao – appointed by the Supreme Court as court commissioners to inspect the court hearing also visited the court room.

Kanhiaya and his counsel apprised them of the assault.

The legal team then called the Delhi Police officials and asked how they failed to maintain law and order in the court complex. A senior police official told the court that the mob attacked policemen too.

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The team reminded the senior police officer that he was bound to act as per the Supreme Court directions and not the orders of Commissioner of Police.

The team said it will apprise the apex court of the situation.

Meanwhile, defence counsel Vrinda Grover urged the court for adequate safety for Kanhaiya Kumar inside the jail, expressing apprehension about a threat to his life.

The court then directed the Delhi Police and the Tihar jail superintendent to ensure his safety.

The court also asked senior police officials and the jail superintendent to submit a report on Kanhaiya’s security in the jail by Thursday.

Kanhaiya Kumar of the leftist All India Students Federation was arrested on February 12 on charge of sedition after anti-India slogans were raised during a meeting on the campus on February 9.

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