The statement of a forensic laboratory, that two of the seven pieces of video footage from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) were 'doctored,' could serve as a ray of hope for the JNU students' union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is currently in judicial custody on sedition charges.
Forensic tests conducted by Hyderabad-based Truth labs found that two of the seven footages allegedly containing Kanhaiya Kumar's 'seditious' speech were 'doctored,' as per a report in Hindustan Times.
According to a report on The Economic Times, the videos serve as the prime evidence in the case along with eyewitnesses statements of Kumar being present at the Sabarmati hostel and the Ganga dhaba, where the controversial programme was said to have been organised. The latest results from the laboratory could boost the chances of Kumar getting bail in the case. Kumar was beaten up by lawyers on 17 February while being produced at the Patiala House court complex in Delhi.
One of the videos was heavily edited and had several cuts, while another one had audio imposed on the video, the Hindustan Times report quoted sources as saying. The videos were aired on several occasions on various news channels.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi had last month sent the videos for forensic examination. It had also ordered a District Magistrate in New Delhi to file a factual report on the incident following conflicting claims on the anti-national slogans.
The Indian Express quoted sources as saying that none of the videos confirmed the rumours of Kanhaiya Kumar raising 'anti-national' slogans in the JNU campus. Claims of slogans of 'Pakistan Zindabad' being raised on the campus also could not be confirmed in the videos, the sources were reported to have said.
With a political storm over the allegations of sedition against Kanhaiya Kumar now finding an echo in Parliament, it remains to be seen what the effect of the lab's findings will be on the controversy.