Critics question JNU chargesheet timing

Umar Khalid said he rejected the sedition allegation and questioned the timing of the Chargesheet.

The chargesheet against former JNU students on sedition charges that came 1,057 days after the FIR was filed came under criticism from activists and Opposition parties as they questioned the timing of the move.

Several claimed that the filing of the chargesheet in a Delhi court in connection with the case of alleged anti-India sloganeering during an event to protest the execution of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru was aimed at Lok Sabha elections.

Congress tweeted, "almost three years too late, the Modi government has again used the police to distract attention from the issues that matter -- jobs, agrarian distress and economic mismanagement."

Former JNU Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar, who is named in the chargesheet and speculated to contest from Bihar's Begusarai Lok Sabha seat as a united Opposition candidate, said he was "thankful" to Delhi Police and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as it showed it was "politically motivated".

"The filing of chargesheet after three years, ahead of elections clearly shows it to be politically motivated. I trust the judiciary of my country," he said.

Also read: Chronology of events of sedition case against Kanhaiya

"We want the charges to be framed and a speedy trial in the case so that the truth comes out. We also want to see the videos that have been placed on record as evidence by the police," Kumar said.

Umar Khalid, another former JNU student who is named in the chargesheet, said he rejected the allegations. "The move to file the charge sheet three years after the alleged incident is an attempt to divert the attention (of the people) right before the elections," he said.

Banojyotsna Lahiri, whom the police say there is insufficient evidence to proceed though named in the chargesheet, tweeted, "a chargesheet is expected to be filed within 90 days of the filing of FIR, not 90 days before the next election."

Former JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid, who is also mentioned in the chargesheet but against whom there is insufficient evidence, said the Modi government has used this manufactured controversy in instalments.

"Next instalment to be released on nomination day for 2019 elections...This is a completely bogus case in which ultimately everyone will be acquitted. The timing of the chargesheet right before the elections just reflects how the BJP wants to reap electoral benefits out of this. I was not even on campus on the day of the event," Rashid, who led the protest against students' arrests, said.

In a statement, CPI said they condemned charge-sheeting of students, including those of AISF, after 1,000 days and to "falsely implicate" Kumar. "This is politically motivated action by police to please the masters and has been done keeping coming Lok Sabha election in mind. This is how the present government is subverting the authority to serve its political need," it said.

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Critics question JNU chargesheet timing

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