The sedition charges against the JNU students including the university's former students' union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar are politically motivated, said CPI leader D Raja on Monday, while reacting to the charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police in the sedition case.
"Even at that time, we had said that these are politically motivated charges and nobody can accuse the All India Student Federation (AISF) of any activity against the nation," said Raja while speaking to ANI.
"There is nothing to prove. Our students cannot indulge in such activities. The government can't slap sedition charges on them. We will fight the case in the court," added Raja. The court will take up the matter for consideration on Tuesday.
"We have fought against the British Raj and we also know how to fight against the BJP Raj," Raja further told ANI, saying "we will fight the case legally inside the court, and politically outside."
Former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said: "No surprises here. We are only months away from the General Election. Like always, using Kashmiris to score extra political points with the Indian electorate has become somewhat of a prerequisite."
"When the UPA was in power, it decided to send Afzal Guru to the gallows and J&K is paying a price. I wonder how many more Kashmiris along with their families will have to pay a price to secure the political fortunes of national parties," Mufti tweeted.
Delhi Police on Monday filed the 1,200-page charge sheet at Delhi's Patiala House Court. The statement of more than 90 witnesses has been recorded in the case. Sources in the Delhi Police said the column number 12 of the charge sheet names 36 people as accused including Raja's daughter Aparajita Raja and former JNUSU vice president Shehla Rashid.
On February 9, 2016, "anti-national" slogans were allegedly raised on the JNU campus during a programme called to protest against the death sentence handed out to Afzal Guru, a convict in the Parliament attack case, which led to a massive row when the members of ABVP, the student wing of RSS, objected to the programme.
The charge sheet names 10 JNU students as main accused including Kanahiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and seven Kashmiri students, namely, Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rasool, and Bashir Bhat. They have been accused of raising 'anti-national' slogans.
The charge sheet has been filed under Indian Penal Code's (IPC) Section 124A (sedition), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine, forged document), 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 149 (unlawful assembly with common object), 147(rioting), and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
According to information, the Delhi Police have used the video-footage and other documents to support their points in the charge sheet, which has been filed almost after three years the incident took place on the JNU campus on February 9, 2016.
However, Kanhaiya Kumar has questioned the timing to file the charge sheet, accusing the Central government and the BJP of doing so for political gains in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
"The charge sheet has been filed just before the Lok Sabha elections. It is politically motivated. The Central government has failed on every front and has fulfilled none of its promises. Therefore, all the cards that they have in their hands are being played by them," said Kanhaiya Kumar.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)