As five students accused of sedition charges sat cordoned off in the admin block, having returned to the JNU campus late on Sunday night, a team from Delhi’s Criminal Investigation Department have been waiting at the gates of Jawaharlal Nehru University on Monday.
Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi has said if the students are innocent, they should assist the police’s ongoing investigation and provide evidence of their innocence.
We are confident that his team is competent enough to deal with the matter, also added.
Among the five was Umar Khalid, whom the police have been looking for since February 11. Khalid has been on the police’s radar after he was named as the person who organised the Afzal Guru protests that set off the ongoing fracas. The students have said they choose not to leave the campus, but won’t refuse arrest if the police choose to take such action.
The university’s administration has called a meeting with its top officials, and reports said vice chancellor Jagdeesh Kumar is also holding a meeting with the Registrar and Students’ Union representatives.
Meanwhile, the police have reportedly said they will not enter the University premises without the vice chancellor’s permission.
Khalid and the other students – Anant Prakash Narayan, Ashutosh Kumar, Rama Naga and Anirban Bhattacharya – have denied that they were involved in any “anti-national” activities. They claim that the videos showing students shouting “aazadi” were doctored. It was based on these videos that the police sent a look-out notice for Khalid, and the issue spiralled out of control.
Rama Naga one of the accused on Monday said that some protestors joined the Afzal Guru event on February 9 and shouted the anti-national slogans in question, but were asked to leave.
The university’s administration has so far refused to let in media persons and the police, who have asked for the students to be handed over at the gate. The university’s Teachers’ Association also extended its support to the students and said charges should not be “frivolously applied” to them.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail application later in the day.