The Delhi Police on Wednesday, in its 13-page status report on bail plea of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, revealed that Kumar, who was arrested on sedition charges, had not only participated in the pro-Afzal Guru event at the university campus on February 9 but had “actually organized them in connivance with the other accused persons”.
The status report also mentioned that the incident records the presence of “foreign elements” covering their faces to hide their identity, apart from the accused Kanhaiya Kumar and co-accused in the case – Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Aswathi and Komal. It further said that “the investigation agency is looking for the linkage between the petitioner, his co-accused, and the said foreign elements.” However, the “foreign elements” described by the Delhi Police were actually Kashmiris, who were shouting pro-Kashmir slogans of Azadi. Also, the majority of protesters who were raising the ‘anti-national’ slogans at the event were Kashmiris.
Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi, who had last week said that the police would not object if Kanhaiya applied for bail, on Tuesday, justified the change in their stand by saying that the circumstances have changed and that Kanhaiya is bound to impact the investigation and influence witnesses. They had also mentioned that the video of the incident procured from a private news channel was also counted as evidence against Kanhaiya.
The status report clarified that the unedited video footage was “not the footage which is being argued as ‘doctored’ in various sections, including petitioner as alleged by the media. But it is a totally different and contemporaneously recorded unedited video footage. However, the video is not the sole evidence on the basis of which the investigation is proceeding with,” it said.
The Delhi Police had said that they also had other substantial evidence to back their allegations against Kanhaiya and his comrades. However, there is no mention of any such other evidence in the status report apart from the video.
The statements of students, including JNU Students' Union Joint Secretary, Saurabh Kumar Sharma, who is the sole ABVP member among office-bearers, have also been recorded and considered while gathering evidence against Kanhaiya.
Following are some of the images of the status report reviewed by Firstpost:
“The shouting of anti-national slogans continued unabated which was countered by another group of students, with a strength of around 60 students, by raising slogans in support of the nation,” said the report. However, there is no video evidence to substantiate the presence of the group which was raising ‘pro-India’ slogans.
“It is an open secret that aforesaid conduct of holding an event does not only has ramifications within India but has an international impact as well,” the report said.
Stating that the present case is still at a primitive stage, the Delhi Police are seeking additional time to strengthen their case and it would seek Kanhaiya’s fresh remand from a trial court as “the investigation agency intends to unearth larger conspiracy behind the aforesaid seditious act of the accused persons and in case of liberty of bail granted to the petitioner, the very line of investigation would get adversely affected.”
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Delhi High Court, during the hearing of Kanhaiya’s bail plea on Wednesday before Justice Pratibha Rani, to defer the bail petition in the wake of the new development in the case.
The bench has now fixed February 29 for further hearing on the bail plea.