Seven students detained, released

Even as JNU continues to simmer, the police on Saturday detained seven students for allegedly trying to enter a cultural programme venue in New Delhi.

The students were let off later in three separate batches after questioning. The police said four of the students were planning a protest inside IGNCA during the ongoing Jashn-e-Rekhta programme.

However, it was later discovered that three of the students detained had nothing to do with protests. The remaining were members of Sangwari Theatre Group and were allegedly picked up for questioning as they “looked” like JNU students carrying “jholas” and sporting “long beards”.

The police’s version said that it all began when one of those students was stopped for checking at the venue entrance. “He was a Delhi University student and was found carrying a flag of the Student Federation of India (SFI), and some posters and banners. When questioned, he said six other students were with him. Three of them were carrying tambourines,” said Jatin Narwal, DCP (New Delhi).

All the students were placed under “preventive detention” and taken to Parliament Street police station. Of the four students from the theatre group, three were let off after questioning for an hour. Their leader Umar Shaqib was allowed to leave around 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, several teams have been constituted to arrest five other students who were alleged to be a part of the students’ group that allegedly chanted “anti-India” slogans in JNU.

On Saturday, raids were conducted in Delhi and NCR to arrest them. “The absconding students will not be allowed to go scot-free. We have contacted their parents to pressurise them to surrender,” said a senior police officer.

A day ago, police had sent a letter to the JNU Vice-Chancellor requesting him to produce the absconding students before the investigators. The V-C was also instructed to provide the permanent addresses and phone number of these students.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi took to Twitter on Saturday to send across the message that “no innocent shall suffer”. He had quoted Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet that read, “No one supports anti-national forces. But targeting innocent students using that as an excuse will prove v costly to Modi govt”.

Mr. Bassi insisted that the police would abide by the rule of law and that his force does not entertain any malice towards anyone. He also dismissed allegations from some quarters that the police were entering girls’ hostels in JNU. He termed the allegations as “totally incorrect, malicious and mischievous”.

Mr. Bassi on Saturday also met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and briefed him about the probe so far into the sedition case registered in connection with JNU and Press Club of India episodes.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 1:48:21 PM |

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