Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya get six-month interim bail

A sessions court in New Delhi on Friday granted interim bail for six months to JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, arrested in a sedition case registered in connection with a controversial event organised on the university campus on February 9, 2016.

JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

Additional sessions judge Reetesh Singh at Patiala House Courts, releasing the two students on bail, directed them to furnish a surety of Rs. 25,000 each. The court also asked them not to leave the city during the bail period.

Both Mr. Khalid and Mr. Bhattacharya had raised the plea of parity with the JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been released by the Delhi High Court on an interim bail for six months. The applicants also said the incident, commemorating the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, did not attract the criminal provisions of sedition.

The prosecution had contended that the allegations against the accused were grave and they were the main organisers of the event, in which some “anti-national” slogans were also raised. The intention of the two students, who were in judicial custody, was to “create hatred” against the established government, which attracted sedition charges, according to the prosecution.