In a relief to Kanhaiya Kumar booked under charges of sedition, a Sub-Divisional Magistrate probing the JNU row observed in its report that he didn’t find any evidence or came across any witness suggesting that the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president had delivered seditious utterances or raised any anti-national slogans on the campus on February 9.
In his report submitted to the Delhi Government on Thursday, the SDM observed, “No witness or any other evidence found which could suggest that Kanhaiya had delivered any anti-national speech.”
“Umar Khalid, the main organiser and a member of JNU’s Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), has been known for his views on Kashmir’s self-determination and Afzal Guru. He had in the past organised many such programmes. After going through the footage given by the JNU security, which had filmed the incident, and various television channels and speaking with witnesses, it became clear that Khalid raised slogans such as ‘Kashmir ki janta sangharsh karo, hum tumahare saath hai’. JNU security staff, who claimed to have identified voices of Anirban Bhattacharya and Ashutosh Kumar, said they raised slogan ‘Afzal ki hatya nahi sahenge’,” the report observed.
The report found many outsiders of Kashmiri descent, most of them having their faces covered, were seen shouting pro-Afzal and anti-India slogans in videos.
“They should immediately be identified for further investigation. Possibly two of the Kashmiri descent students are from the JNU and the administration would work to bring them to the book,” the report said.
Commenting on the presence of the news media on the JNU campus, the report observed, “The Zee News team was called to the event by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s (ABVP) Saurabh Sharma at 5.20 pm. The JNU entry register categorically reflects that by sending WhatsApp pic of the register entry, the media were called to share video and details to which they never complied. The news channel came in without the permission of the university. This channel also flashed news and thereafter the police obtained a copy from them and filed the FIR.”
As per the FIR, the report said, during the examination of the video, they found that people raised anti-national slogans under the leadership of Khalid. The FIR, however, does not state that Khalid or Kanhaiya raised anti-India slogans. The police personnel doubted that they were raising the slogan of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. However, the raw footage provided by ‘Zee News’ and transcripts of JNU security staff videos don’t support their claims.
Kanhaiya Kumar was on Wednesday granted an interim conditional bail for six months by the Delhi High Court.
Disposing of the bail petition of a single judge bench of Justice Pratibha Rani stated, “The thoughts reflected in the slogans raised by some of the JNU students, who organised and participated in that programme, cannot be claimed to be protected as fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. I consider this as a kind of infection from which such students are suffering which needs to be controlled/cured before it becomes an epidemic.
“Whenever some infection is spread in a limb, effort is made to cure the same by giving antibiotics orally and if that does not work, by following second line of treatment. Sometimes it may require surgical intervention also. However, if the infection results in infecting the limb to the extent that it becomes gangrene, amputation is the only treatment.”
The Court, however, asked him not to participate actively or passively in any activity which may be termed as anti-national.
It also enjoined on him, as president of JNU students union, that he will make all efforts within his power to control anti-national activities in the University campus.
Further, it said that the accused has to furnish an undertaking that he will not violate any of the conditions mentioned in the order.
Kanhaiya, who is presently lodged in Tihar jail under judicial custody, was arrested on February 12th in connection with the sedition case.
Kanhaiya and others, including two arrested JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, are accused of raising anti-India slogans during an event organised inside the JNU campus on February 9.
Kanhaiya had sought bail claiming that he had not raised any anti-India slogans but the Delhi Police had maintained before the high court that they have evidence to show that the accused had raised anti-national slogans. The two other students who were arrested are in 14 days judicial custody.