NEW DELHI: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury are among nine persons who have been booked on sedition charges in connection with the JNU row, police said today.
An FIR has been registered against Rahul, Kejriwal, Yechury, Congress leaders Anand Sharma and Ajay Maken, CPI leader D Raja, JD(U) Spokesperson KC Tyagi, JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and JNU research scholar Umar Khalid on the order of a court here, based on a complaint filed by lawyer Janardhan Goud.
“It is a court-referred matter. Following the court’s directive, a case under section 124A of the IPC (sedition) has been registered yesterday against nine persons, including Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Sitaram Yechury, JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and others,” Saroornagar Police Station Inspector S Lingaiah said today.
The court has posted the matter for hearing on March 4.
In his petition, Goud said Rahul and other leaders, despite being aware that Delhi Police had registered a case against Kanhaiya on charge of sedition had visited JNU campus and knowingly supported them and hence it “amounted to sedition”.
Kanhaiya and Khalid, who have earlier been arrested in Delhi on sedition charge, have also been booked here on the same charge.
Goud had filed a complaint in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate here on Thursday, seeking its direction to police for registration of a case against Kanhaiya and Khalid for allegedly raising anti-India and pro-Afzal Guru slogans on JNU campus and others.
In his petition, Goud said he has every right to question those who are indulging in “anti-national activities and also those who are encouraging anti-nationals in the name of solidarity for those who are facing criminal charges under section 124(A) of IPC.”
Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail hearing to continue on Monday
Meanwhile, Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail hearing is going to continue tomorrow. The Delhi High Court is likely to resume tomorrow hearing on a bail plea of JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested in a sedition case for allegedly raising anti-India slogans in the university campus. Justice Pratibha Rani, who had on February 24 deferred the hearing till February 29 after Delhi police informed the bench that it will seek his further custodial interrogation, will resume the hearing tomorrow.
The hearing assumes significance as the police is likely to apprise the bench about the ongoing investigation during which it had taken Kanhaiya to one day custody to confront him with two other JNU students and arrested accused — Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya. Umar and Anirban had surrendered before police late on February 23 night.
Both the accused are in police custody till February 29. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Kanhaiya, had earlier contended that as per the status report filed by Delhi Police there was no evidence of any anti-India slogans being raised by his client. Kanhaiya, who was arrested on February 12, was in police custody till February 17 and was later remanded in judicial custody till March 2 amid violence at the court premises during the remand proceedings.
He was taken to one-day police custody on February 25 and was thereafter remanded back in judicial custody for two weeks on February 26. In its status report filed before the high court, police had alleged Kanhaiya had not only participated in the event in JNU campus on February 9 where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised but had “actually organised” the programme. It had claimed that besides Kanhaiya and other accused, some “foreign elements” were also present during the event and they had covered their faces to hide their identity.
“The investigation agency is looking for linkage between the petitioner (Kanhaiya), his co-accused and the said foreign elements who were hiding their identity by covering their faces,” the police had said while opposing his bail plea.