A Delhi court on Monday summoned 10 accused in the 2016 JNU sedition case, including then Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, on March 15 for facing trial.
The police, in its chargesheet, have claimed Kanhaiya and others led a procession on the JNU campus where seditious slogans were raised on February 9, 2016, during an event to mark the hanging of Afzal Guru, a convict in the Parliament attack case.
Besides Kanhaiya, others named in the chargesheet include Anirban Bhattacharya, Umar Khalid, Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain Gattoo, Muneeb Hussain Gattoo, Umar Gul, Rayees Rasool, Basharat Ali and Khalid Bashir Bhatt. The accused are facing charges of sedition, criminal conspiracy, rioting, unlawful assembly, and forgery, et al.
The prosecution was delayed due to Delhi’s AAP government’s hesitation in granting sanction amid friction with the BJP-led central government. Finally, after Union Home Minister Amit Shah raised the issue at a rally for last year’s Delhi assembly election, the Arvind Kejriwal government on February 27 green-signalled the prosecution.
The JNU incident had helped Kanhaiya emerge as a firebrand student leader but he failed to make a mark in national politics due to his defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha election to BJP’s Giriraj Singh. Kanhaiya had fought the election on a CPI ticket.
In a latest incident, he got many eyebrows raised in Bihar on Monday as news broke of his meeting with state minister Ashok Choudhary, key aide of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday. The student has been soft toward Nitish Kumar despite their parties rarely getting on the same page on most issues.
Choudhary’s meeting with Kanhaiya came at a time when the young communist politician is said to have been left mortified by a censure motion that CPI recently passed against him. The party action had followed alleged manhandling of a key CPI official attached to the state headquarters in Patna.