Sedition case: 5 students refuse to surrender

Last Updated 22 February 2016, 20:46 IST

The Delhi Police on Monday approached the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for written permission to enter the campus after five absconding students surfaced on the premises late on Sunday.

Till late in the evening, JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar had not given his permission. The students wanted by police in the sedition case, in which JNU Students’s Union president Kanhaiya Kumar has been arrested, have said they will not surrender. However, they make it clear that they will not resist arrest.

Kumar was nabbed after a raid on the university campus and both the police and the JNU administration had come under severe criticism for the incident. This has made the police to seek permission instead of repeating a similar action.

A police team has been camping outside the main gate of the JNU campus. Delhi Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi also discussed the situation with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

The students have been identified as Umar Khalid, Anirban, Rama Naga, Ashutosh and Ananth Prakash. They were absconding since Kumar’s arrest on February 12.

Bassi has told them to surrender and urged the university to hand them over to Vasant Kunj North police station. “They should join the probe. If they are innocent, they should provide evidence of their innocence,” Bassi told the media.

When asked if police would enter the campus to arrest the students, Bassi said the investigating officer would exercise the best available option. “As far as the Delhi Police is concerned, we always aim for maintaining law and order situation,” he added.

Khalid has rubbished media reports that he had visited Pakistan twice, besides showing displeasure over the police calling him a “mastermind” who planned similar events across 18 universities. The JNU student and teacher unions have now called for a strike and demanded the resignation of varsity registrar Bupinder Zutshi. Zutshi has said that the university administration has not been contacted by police.

On Monday, Joint Commissioner of Police (South Western Range) Dependra Pathak and DCP (South) Prem Nath were at the local police station to monitor the situation.

The investigating team, however, has not been allowed to enter the campus. Police are now hoping to get the students to surrender at the gates.

In a letter, the DCP (South) has informed the JNU vice chancellor that the students have sedition charges against them and that they must appear at the police station. They are wanted in the case filed with Vasant Kunj North police station.

The five figure among the names of the 10 students mentioned in the poster of the controversial February 9 event on JNU campus to mark Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s hanging. Kanhaiya Kumar’s name is, however, absent.

(Published 22 February 2016, 20:28 IST)

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