Kanhaiya Kumar versus the State: There's nothing in this Delhi Police status report that points at sedition

Written in incorrect English, with grammatical errors and many such holes, the 13-page Delhi Police status report on the bail plea of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar speaks volumes in the silences it maintains. The report talks about posters and protests, one lone ranger video broadcast on a private TV channel and a charged atmosphere on the night of 9 February, but the critical bit of proof that suggests Kanhaiya was engaged in seditious activity is missing.

Bulk of the details listed in the status report pre-date a Zee News producer's resignation over what he claimed was a video of questionable provenance, which the status report cites as evidence.

The Indian Express reports on the latest focus of investigations: "five persons who were allegedly shouting “anti-India” slogans" during the event on JNU campus on 9 February.

“They could be seen raising slogans against India in the video accessed by the police,” sources told The Indian Express.

Firstpost's Tarique Anwar reviewed the report and photographed 11 pages containing details of the investigation. In it are allusions to posters, various dhabas in JNU, people with their faces covered, "foreign elements" and other such shadows that are being chased.

"During the course of investigation, the investigating agency intends to unearth larger conspiracy," says the status report.

Read: How Delhi Police assembled its case against Kanhaiya Kumar, why Bassi opposed his bail

Silence may not be golden as Modi lays low during #JNURow

These are the highlights of the pages Anwar photographed:

Page 1: Many posters near Sabarmati Dhaba

Page 5: Quarrel between two groups, according to police. 

Page 5: Which is this "other group"? Does it have a name? 

Page 6: Delhi Police gets unedited footage of 9 February event from Zee News

Page 8: Explains how Kanhaiya Kumar was apprehended, basis the Zee News footage. But the Zee News producer has quit saying the astons were wrong.

Page 9: Language of posters = mischief. 

Page 10: "During the course of investigation, the investigating agency intends to unearth larger conspiracy." 

Page 10: "Investigation is at a very primitive stage." 

Page 10: "Agency is looking for linkage between petitioner and foreign agency."

Page 11: "Investigating agency is investigating source of finance for all activities that led to the offence." 

Kanhaiya Kumar versus the State: Theres nothing in this Delhi Police status report that points at sedition

Kanhaiya Kumar. PTI

Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on 12 February.

Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya surrendered to Delhi Police 23 February.

All these JNU students are charged with sedition based on what they allegedly shouted out on the evening of 9 February.

The Delhi Police mentions an airing of a Zee News report as the first point of evidence but a Zee News producer has quite saying that no such anti-national slogans were in the original video.

That the original video which formed the basis of the entire #JNURow and sedition charge was doctored is now out and the status report appended here has no details on the specifics.

Delhi Police went on record saying they have proof that goes beyond the "doctored" video of Zee News but that proof does not show up in the status report.

Meanhwile, the Delhi High Court continues to postpone the bail plea hearing of JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, now for the second time in a week.

Kumar is currently in judicial custody till March 2. Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, the police can seek custody for up to 14 days after arrest. For two weeks, judicial custody and police custody can be exchanged. He was previously placed in police custody for three days and then another two days after his arrest on February 12.

Kanhaiya Kumar Bail Application

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned Kumar's bail plea till February 29 after Delhi Police said it will seek his fresh remand to "unearth any larger conspiracy".

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for Delhi Police, told Justice Pratibha Rani that they were moving a remand application to seek Kanhaiya's police custody for the third time, to confront him with fellow Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya who surrendered on Tuesday night.

Mehta said the police remand of Kanhaiya, who is currently in judicial custody till March 2, is required to confront him with Khalid and Anirban and "unearth any larger conspiracy".

The court deferred the hearing till February 29 after Kanhaiya's advocates Kapil Sibal and Rebecca John asked the court to postpone the hearing as they will oppose the police remand application.

"Since two JNU students surrendered last (Tuesday) night, we need to confront them with Kanhaiya," ASG Mehta said.

Allowing police to move the remand application before the concerned court, Justice Pratibha Rani said: "We have to ensure that they don't suffer any scratch, that's my only concern."

Delhi Police opposed the bail plea of Kanhaiya and submitted a status report to the court.

If Kanhaiya is released on bail, "he may create law and order problems by conducting meetings in his support, hampering arrest of other accused people", said police.

Kanhaiya "did not cooperate at all during the course of the interrogation", they said.

The report also said Delhi Police was looking into the "linkage between Kanhaiya and some foreign elements with their mouths covered" who were present during the February 9 event at the university.

Kanhaiya was arrested in a sedition case on February 12 after the event held on the university campus against the execution of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. He allegedly shouted anti-India slogans at the event.

Khalid and Anirban, along with three others, had gone missing from the JNU campus since February 12 when Kanhaiya was arrested. They surrendered on Tuesday night.

The police report said Kanhaiya, if released on bail, "may influence the witnesses and also hamper the investigation".

"It would send a wrong signal to the students community across the country that such anti-India activities can be conducted with immunity."

"He (Kanhaiya) may become the rallying point to encourage such anti-India movements which would not only spread disaffection but would also be contemptuous since the conviction recorded by the Supreme Court is being termed judicial killing," the report stated.

Delhi Police further said: "It is an open secret that the aforesaid conduct of holding an event on February 9 has not only ramifications within India, it has an international impact as well."

During the hearing, Justice Pratibha Rani made it clear that police have the statutory right to seek remand of Kanhaiya till February 27.

An accused may be held in police custody for a period of normally not more than 14 days.

As Kanhaiya was arrested on February 12, Delhi Police has the statutory right to seek remand before the expiry of the 14-day period, police said.

ASG Mehta told the court that Delhi Police will ensure safety of lawyers and the accused in the case.

Security was beefed up inside and outside the court room during the hearing.

The entry to the courtroom of Justice Pratibha Rani was restricted to lawyers involved in the case and a few media persons.

The high court posted the matter for February 29.


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Updated Date: Feb 25, 2016 08:36:51 IST

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