Kanhaiya not February 9 event's organiser: Police tell court

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New Delhi, March 16: Delhi Police on Wednesday told a court here that JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya organised the February 9 event on the campus while JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was not its organiser.

Police took the stand while opposing the bail plea of Khalid and Anirban, who are also facing sedition charge, in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh.

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Police said their case was different from that of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar.

The court has set March 18 for its order on the bail plea of Khalid and Anirban.

Both have sought bail on the ground of "parity", saying that Kanhaiya Kumar was already granted six-month interim bail by the Delhi High court on March 2 in a sedition case.

Anti-national slogans were raised at the controversial event on the campus here.

Both the students surrendered before the police last month outside a university gate.

A case was registered against Khalid and Bhattacharya at the Vasant Kunj police station, soon after Kanhaiya was arrested on the same charge on February 12.

Police told court that the controversial poster for the event was designed by Anirban and finally approved by Khalid. The poster was mailed by Anirban to Khalid, Delhi Police told the court.

Delhi Police also told the court that the controversial poster bore the names of Khalid and Anirban as organisers. Both even went to the university office along with other students on February 8 for getting permission to hold the event.

First, the permission was allowed but when the event posters surfaced, university authority withdrew the permission.

Both the accused still went ahead with the event and led a procession in which anti-national slogans were shouted, police said.

The defence counsel of both questioned the authenticity of a video clip of the event aired on a private news channel.

Delhi Police told the court that besides the visual clip from a private channel, they have a videotape of the event taken by JNU staff member Jaspreet Singh. Both videos have been sent to a forensic science laboratory for tests.

Police said statements of 10 witnesses, including university staff, security personnel and students were recorded, and that support the allegations against the accused.

Citing Supreme Court judgment, defence counsel, however, contended that the case did not come under the sedition charge. The act does not amount to sedition unless there is incitement to violence which did not happen, the defence argued.

Police, however, contested the defence stand and said there was an attempt to incite people to violence as anti-national slogans were raised. It said involvement in violence was not at all required to support the charge.

In its status report filed before the court, Delhi Police said the case investigation was at a delicate stage as some accused people were still on the run.

"The larger conspiracy behind the seditious act of the accused is to be unearthed and exposed," police said in their status report.

They argued that if the accused were granted bail at this stage, the very line of investigation would get adversely affected.

IANS

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