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Delhi Police files charge sheet against Kanhaiya Kumar, 9 others in JNU sedition case

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Nearly three years after former JNU student and 9 others were accused of raising anti-slogans, the Monday charged them with

Kumar described the charge sheet as "politically motivated" and questioned its timing, just months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The 1,200-page charge sheet in which former Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU) students and were also arrayed as accused was filed before who put it up for consideration before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate(CMM) on Tuesday. Kumar, Khalid and Bhattacharya were arrested and later got bail.

It will be left to the CMM whether or not to take cognisance of the charge sheet in what is known as the JNU case. The maximum punishment for is life term.

The police claimed it has video clips to prove the offence which has been corroborated by the statements of the witnesses and that Kumar was leading a procession and allegedly supported seditious slogans raised on the in February 2016.

Kumar, who faced allegations that he had incited the mob to shout anti-slogans, said the charge sheet was a "diversionary ploy by the to hide its all-round failures".

"The charge sheet is politically motivated. However, we want the charges to be framed and a speedy trial in the case so that the truth comes out. We also want to see the videos that have been placed on record as evidence by the police," he told

The accused were named in the charge sheet for allegedly shouting anti-slogans during an event on the university's campus on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind

The other seven accused chargesheeted in the case are Kashmiri students Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rassol, and Basharat, some of them were then studying in JNU, and

As many as 36 others, including (CPI) D Raja's daughter Aprajita, Shehla Rashid (then vice-JNUSU president), Rama Naga, and Banojyotsna Lahiri, all former students of JNU, have been named in column 12 of the charge sheet due to insufficient evidence against them, police sources said.

The accused have been charged with offences under sections 124A (sedition), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 143 (punishment for being a member of an unlawful assembly), 149 (being a member of an unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The 10 accused have been charge sheeted on the basis of electronic evidence, including CCTV footage and mobile footage, and documentary evidence, which include statements of students and security guards.

In the charge sheet, police claimed that all the footage were genuine and the presence of students belonging to was also established through mobile clips and videos.

It claimed that the Kashmiri students had masks on during the procession, but did not cover their faces while returning. This showed their involvement, police said.

The final report by the police claimed that no permission was granted to organise the event and every member was a part of an unlawful assembly.

When informed about the lack of permission to hold the event, the accused persons started arguing and fighting, it said.

A case was registered on February 11, 2016 under sections 124A and 120B of the IPC against unidentified persons at the Vasant Kunj (North) police station, following complaints from and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the RSS.

The event in 2016 had taken place despite the university administration cancelling the permission, following a complaint from the ABVP, which had termed it as "anti-national".

"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 3 years, when it is time is for him and his government to go, the charge sheet 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 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," Kumar later told reporters.

Pointing out that the charge sheet has been filed after 3 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

Khalid, who addressed a student gathering at St. in Bangalore on the "role of youth in safeguarding the Constitution", said, "We reject the allegations. The move to file the charge sheet three years after the alleged incident is an attempt to divert the attention (of the people) right before (parliamentary) elections. We will fight it out in court."

"We congratulate the Delhi Police, the and the government for waking up from their deep slumber 3 years after 9 Feb 2016, and barely 3 months before the 2019 and filing a charge sheet against us," Khalid and Bhattacharya said in a joint statement.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 20:25 IST