Delhi Police has claimed before a court in New Delhi that former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar had raised anti-India slogans in 2016 "to incite hatred and disaffection towards the government".
Police cited statements of various witnesses in its charge sheet to state that Kumar was walking along with the protesters where a number of unidentified persons were raising slogans during an event in the university's campus on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru.
The court will consider the charge sheet on January 19. The matter was listed for Tuesday but since the judge concerned was on leave, the matter was posted for next date of hearing.
The witnesses further said that he was at the crime scene, where other protesters had posters of Guru in their hands.
"It is evident from Kumar's act seen in the video footage/statements of witnesses that he became the part of unlawful assembly, led the unlawful assembly, played active role in riots, raised/supported anti-national slogans which lead to violence," the final report said, adding that "Kumar himself raised anti-India slogans to incite hatred and disaffection towards the government established by the law".
What evidence did the police provide?
1) The evidence listed by the agency included a report of JNU's high-level committee, statement of varsity's Registrar Bhupinder Jutshi and the mobile phone recordings in which Kumar was seen arguing with him over the cancellation of the programme. "Kumar also told him (Jutshi) that they would go ahead with the programme without permission," it said.
2) Regarding other two former JNU students -- Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya -- the police said they also raised anti-India slogans. The police said that a video shot by a news channel and those clips shot by students present at the spot, show that Khalid, Bhattacharya and Ashutosh were raising slogans. "When interviewed by news channels, others in the procession supported and repeated the anti-India slogans," the final report said.
3) It, however, added that the slogans raised by Ashutosh were not anti-national unlike those by Khalid and Bhattacharya. Khalid raised slogans as shown in the videos and mobile clips, the police said, citing a video which shows him saying "the programme is against the occupation of Kashmir by the Indian State. I am making it very apparent that I am not from Kashmir but I believe that what is happening in Kashmir is Indian occupation of Kashmir..."
4) A number of videos show Khalid shouting slogans whereas all witnesses confirmed his presence, the charge sheet said. His mobile phone location was also used as evidence, besides electronic evidence proving his contact with other accused, it said.
5) The police listed videos where Bhattacharya was shown citing slogans and walking with Kumar, Khalid and others in the procession. "He also gave a provocative speech," the agency said, including statement of witnesses, JNU high-level committee report and mobile phone location as evidence.
What was Kanhaiya's reaction?
Kanhaiya Kumar on Monday questioned the timing of the Delhi Police filing a chargesheet against him and others in the sedition case, attributing "political motive" of the "failed" Modi government to the police action.
Reacting to the development, Kumar said it was a diversionary ploy by the Modi government to hide its all-round failures. "I have not received any summons or information from the court. But if it is true, then we are thankful to the police and Modi that finally after three years, when it is time for him and his government to go, the chargesheet has been filed. But what is pertinent is the timing of the charge-sheet -- just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. It is evident that there is a political motive behind this. The motive is that the Modi government has been a failure in all aspects, it has not been able to fulfil even a single promise, so it is playing all its cards to divert the attention," he told the media.
Pointing to the chargesheet being filed after three years of the incident, he said the Modi government, just as all its other promises, was "not serious" and using the issue now as a political tool. "If the government was really serious about the case and maintained that we did indulge in anti national activities, then why did it take three years to file the chargesheet, that too just before the polls?" he asked.