JNU sedition case: Charges politically motivated, says Kanhaiya Kumar

Other JNU student leaders question the timing of filing the charge sheet of a three-year-old case, ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

Updated - January 14, 2019 09:51 pm IST

Published - January 14, 2019 04:44 pm IST - New Delhi

Kanhaiya Kumar

Kanhaiya Kumar

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University students Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who were chargesheeted in the JNU sedition case on Monday, have questioned the timing and alleged that it was “politically motivated.”

“I would like to thank the Delhi police and Modi ji for filing the chargesheet after three years, just ahead of the general election,” Mr. Kumar said. “This clearly shows that it is politically motivated and I trust the judiciary to bring out the truth.”

Umar Khalid said he had not seen the chargesheet, but he categorically rejected the charges and would contest them legally. “In a way, it is good that the matter will finally move to the actual courtroom after almost three years of media trials. We are convinced about our innocence and have full faith in the court. After we are proved innocent, we will legally take to task all the media houses that have spread canards about us,” he said.

He said the criminal, irresponsible and inflammatory handling of the matter by media house had made them vulnerable, even putting their physical safety in jeopardy and leading to assassination attempts.

Anirban Bhattacharya, in a joint statement with Mr. Khalid, said the chargesheet was filed just before the election to deflect attention from the government’s failures. They were raking up this issue as they needed to bury their failures under these lies.

Saurabh Sharma of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad who was the Joint Secretary of the JNUSU at that time and was the first complainant against the event, called the filing of the chargesheet “a victory of ABVP.”

“This is the victory of all those students who put their life in danger by showing the courage to raise their voice against the traitors/Urban Naxals who raised slogans. This shows that the students of JNU are with the nation.”

‘Bid to score points’

Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said it was “an attempt to score political points by including Kashmiris.”

“No surprises here. We are months away from the 2019 general elections and, like always, using Kashmiris to score extra political points with the Indian electorate has become somewhat of a pre-requisite,” she said immediately after the chargesheet was filed.

Ms. Mufti said the timing “couldn’t be more suspicious.”

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