A Delhi court today reserved for March 18 its order on JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya’s bail pleas in a sedition case which were opposed by the police on the ground that allegations were grave as they were the main organisers of the campus event. The duo, who are lodged in jail since February 23, has sought bail on the ground of parity with JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar, saying he has already been granted bail and the incident did not attract charges of sedition.
Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh heard the arguments in which both the accused said they should be given the relief like Kanhaiya since they are in judicial custody and the police do not need their custody for the probe.
This was opposed by the investigators who said the stdents’ intention was to create hatred against the established government which attracts the sedition charge.
The police said the case against Kanhaiya “is very much different” from that of Umar and Anirban as the JNUSU President was not the organiser of the event and there are 10 independent witnesses including security guards, JNU staff and the students who have confirmed that “anti-Indian slogans were raised” at the programme.
“The slogans attempted to incite the mob. These two persons, Umar and Anirban, led the crowd which shouted anti-Indian slogans. The police has also recovered two cellphones which established that anti-Indian slogans were raised by Umar and Anirban during the event,” the prosecution said, adding that posters used for the event were recovered from the emails of two accused which shows that they were the main organisers of the event which took place even after permission was withdrawn by the JNU administration.
However, the counsel for both the accused said, in this case there was no violence prior or later to the incident.
Advocate Trideep Pais, who represented Anirban, said there are a number of reports and even the police is saying that several videos on the incident which are in public domain are doctored and “even the report of JNU on the incident says that the slogans were raised by outsiders”.