Hours after the Delhi police filed a chargesheet against him in the 2016 sedition case, former JNU president Kanhaiya Kumar termed it “politically motivated” and questioning the timing of the police action. “The charge sheet is politically motivated. However, we want the charges to be framed and a speedy trial in the case so that the truth comes out. We also want to see the videos that have been placed on record as evidence by the police,” Kumar told PTI.
Taking to Twitter, Kanhaiya said, “We had asked from Modi ji Rs 15 lakh, employment and achhe din. It Does not matter if acche din came or not, chargesheet against us has definitely come. If this news is correct, I thank Modi Ji and his police.”
Along with Kanhaiya, the chargesheet also names Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and Shela Rashid who were part of the student union when the alleged anti-national sloganeering took place at the JNU campus during a protest march to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Charges have been filed under IPC 124 A (sedition), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 465 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine, forged document), 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 149 (unlawful assembly with common object), 147 (rioting) and 120B.
Khalid who was in Banglore said, “We reject the allegations. The move to file the chargesheet three years after the alleged incident is an attempt to divert the attention (of the people) right before (parliamentary) elections. We will fight it out in court.” Khalid in a Facebook post said, “No amount of lies would be enough to hide their failures, their anti-poor, anti-farmer, anti-worker, anti-Dalit, anti-minority moves, their corruption, their fake-nationalism, and their desperation. They stand exposed and they will be defeated. We are confident that finally, the truth would prevail.”
Shehla Rashid, who was the vice president of JNUSU at the time, reacted sharply to the development and said, “This is a completely bogus case in which ultimately everyone will be acquitted. The timing of the charge sheet right before the elections just reflects how the BJP wants to reap electoral benefits out of this. I was not even on campus on the day of the event.”
The chargesheet has drawn criticism from various political leaders. Former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said the students were being used to score political points ahead of Lok Sabha elections. “No surprises here. We are months away from the 2019 general election and like always, using Kashmiris to score extra political points with the Indian electorate has become somewhat of a pre-requisite,” the Peoples Democratic Party chief said in a series of tweets. “Timing of the charge sheet couldn’t be any more suspicious. When UPA was in power, it decided to send Afzal Guru to the gallows and to this day, J&K is paying a price,” Mufti added.