JNU sedition case: Charge sheet filed against Kanhaiya, Umar Khalid
The Patiala House Court is slated to hear the sedition case involving 10 Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students - including former JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar and ex-student Umar Khalid - on Tuesday. The development comes after the Delhi Police, on Monday, submitted a 1,200-page charge sheet pertaining to the case, which was registered on the basis that "anti-national" slogans had been raised by the students.
Who are the students who have been charged?
Apart from Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rassol, Bashir Bhat, and Basharat have been charged by the Delhi Police. 36 others are accused, but there is no direct evidence against them.
The students are facing a truckload of charges
Reportedly, the 1,200-page charge sheet has been filed under Sections 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) of the Indian Penal Code. The police have said that it is based on videos that show that anti-India slogans had been raised.
The JNU sedition case had become a national debate
To refresh your memory, the JNU sedition case became a national debate after it was alleged that anti-national slogans had been raised by JNU students on the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in February 2016. Following the incident, several students including Kumar, Khalid, and Anirban Bhattacharya were arrested on charges of sedition. However, they were later released on bail.
How Kanhaiya and Khalid have reacted to the development
Reacting to the development, both Kanhaiya and Khalid have hit out at the government, and have alleged that the case is politically motivated. Speaking to NDTV, Khalid said that through the case, the government was "trying to divert attention and change the narrative in an election year to hide their failure." He added that they would fight the case to prove their innocence.
Kanhaiya thanks "Modi ji" for the charge sheet
"If the news is true that a charge sheet has been filed, I would like to thank police and Modi ji. The filing of charge sheet after three years, ahead of elections, clearly shows it to be politically motivated. I trust the judiciary of my country," Kanhaiya told news agency ANI.