Delhi Police asks 30 JNU students to join probe in sedition case
The Delhi Police has served a notice to JNU asking 30 of its students to join the probe in a sedition case over an event where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised last year.
New Delhi: The Delhi Police has served a notice to JNU asking 30 of its students to join the probe in a sedition case over an event where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised last year.
The notice that is addressed to the JNU vice-chancellor contains names of students affiliated to the Left student groups which dominate the campus politics.
Some of the students, whose names figure in the notice, including AISA (All India Students' Association) leader Shehla Rashid, and Aprojitha Raja, the daughter of CPI national secretary D Raja, were active in a movement demanding release of the three students who were arrested in the case.
The notice says, "For the purpose of investigation some students are to be interrogated in this case. You are hereby informed through this notice to direct following students of JNU to remain present at Administrative Block of JNU (sic)." However, the police said that it is a "routine examination".
"It is a routine exercise and we have been carrying it out for sometime now. We are just examining witnesses so that no side feels that they haven't been heard," said a senior officer from the Special Cell that is probing the case.
The notice has listed three dates — 27, 28 and 29 April — but the students named in the notice didn't join the probe on Thursday. However, another officer said that they are likely to join investigation on Friday. The police haven't even filed a chargesheet in the case and are examining witnesses.
There is a likelihood that apart from the three students named in the FIR — former JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya — more people might be named in the charge-sheet, whenever it is filed.
The JNU students' union, in a statement, condemned the notice and called it a "criminal agenda" of destroying the university. "We see this as another attempt to target and threaten students and ultimately to fulfill the government's criminal agenda of destroying a university where the battle of ideas and critical thinking are well-cherished practice," read the statement.
The arrest of Kumar, Khalid and Bhattacharya on charges of sedition for allegedly organising an event against hanging of Afzal Guru had triggered a huge controversy with the opposition political parties slamming the police for "working at the behest of ruling BJP".
The controversial programme organised last year sparked an outrage after allegations surfaced that anti-national slogans were raised in the university.
The arrest of Kumar catapulted him to national fame and resulted in student protests across the country.
After footage of the event was found to be authentic, some students, including two Kashmiri students, were questioned by the Special Cell sleuths last year.
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