Sedition: Police commissioner adds confusion to chaos

Hubballi sedition case: Police commissioner adds confusion to chaos

Hubballi-Dharwad Police Commissioner R Dileep. (DH Photo)

Contradictory statements by Hubballi-Dharwad Police Commissioner R Dileep regarding the sedition case filed against three Kashmiri students of KLES Institute of Technology in Hubballi has further complicated the already confusing case.

Three students, Ameer Wani, Basit Sofia, and Talib Majid, of Shopian district in Kashmir have been charged with raising ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and ‘Azadi’ slogans. Their video has since gone viral, and pro-Hindu organisations staged a protest in the college premises on Saturday, following which the police arrested the three Kashmiri students.

Dileep, who read the provisions of the section 124 (A) of Indian Penal Code for more than two hours on Saturday before slapping the charges against the three students, however, on Sunday, informed a section of media persons that the students have been 'released' under the provision of CRPC 169, due to lack of evidence.

He also informed selected media persons that 'before releasing' them, the police had taken a written bond from KLES Institute of Technology officials that they (students) would be made available for the investigating officials when and where the police require.

However, three senior lecturers of the college, who are in the loop of the happenings, categorically denied providing police with any written assurance or bonds taking responsibility for the accused students.

“The police officials had told us that the college was responsible only until they handed over the students to the police. Afterwards, it is the responsibility of law enforcing department,” said one of the lecturers who requested anonymity. He also stated that the college is not aware of the whereabouts of the students now.

The college management also clarified that while the students have been ‘orally’ suspended from the college, a written order in this regard has not been issued, as it was Saturday and Sunday (non-working days of college administration), and the same would be issued on Monday

Non-bailable offence

The flip-flop of by the police commissioner regarding the sedition charges has also created confusion among senior police officials and legal experts.

All the sections of IPC slapped against the three students are non-bailable offences (the three have been booked under IPC 124(A), 153 A(J), 153 J(C) 505 (2) to be read with section 34 of IPC).

Sedition is a serious charge and getting a bail is not that easy. Only a court can decide on granting bail to the accused. And with police still not producing the accused in front of even a magistrate, how can they be released, asked a senior advocate, and member of Hubballli Bar council.

Highly placed sources in intelligence wing informed DH that the three students were taken out of Gokul Road police station, where the case has been registered, and are being interrogated at an unidentified location.

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