A year on, Delhi Police lack evidence to charge ex-JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar: Report

The Delhi Police has reportedly not found any comprehensive evidence to pursue its sedition case against former JNU president Kanhaiya Kumar. On February 9 last year, Kanhaiya was jailed on charges of sedition, along with JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who are currently out on bail. The police, however, are likely to indict Khalid and Bhattacharya, according to a draft charge-sheet accessed by The Times of India.

The charge-sheet draws evidence from forensic reports of nearly 40 video clips that prove anti-national slogans were raised at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, last February. The Delhi Police have proof that Khalid had ‘anti-India’ posters designed to voice support to Afzhal Guru. The videos capture around 140 protesters raising ‘anti-India slogans’, of which nine “outsiders”, from Kashmir, have been identified. Their statements were recorded by police in exchange for immunity.

The charge-sheet does not cite Kanhaiya Kumar as a participant of the event, but says he did nothing (as JNUSU president) to stop students sloganeering. The Times of India reports that police will leave it up to the court to decide if charges need to be framed against Kanhaiya. In his defence, Kanhaiya, speaking to India Today, said he was not the permitting authority to allow or disallow an event. “The administration – (proctor or vice chancellor) issues permission for an event and not the JNUSU president. I don’t have the authority to allow or disallow events on campus,” he said.

The final charge-sheet, filed under Section 121 A (sedition) and criminal conspiracy will be submitted to the Delhi High Court after it is authorised by the police commissioner.