JNU row: Delhi govt probe absolves Kanhaiya but unsure of Umar’s role

  • Faizan Haider, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 04, 2016 08:50 IST
The Delhi government report exonerating Kanhaiya Kumar and Umad Khalid is the culmination of an investigation by a district magistrate ordered four days after the JNU event. (AFP)

The Delhi government’s report on the JNU row gave a clean chit to Kanhaiya Kumar but said “it could be presumed” that Umar Khalid raised separatist slogans on the campus on February 9.

A protest on Jawaharlal Nehru University campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru snowballed into a political controversy after a group of students was accused of shouting anti-India slogans.

“Nothing adverse could be found against Kanhaiya Kumar...Umar Khalid is visible in many videos. ‎His support for the role of Kashmir and Afzal Guru is known and he was the organiser of the event. His role needs to be further investigated, “ New Delhi district magistrate Sanjay Kumar said.

The report he submitted to the Delhi government on Thursday expressed doubts over Pakistan Zindabad slogans being chanted but did say some outsiders shouted anti-India slogans whose whereabouts should be found out and role investigated.

Kumar, whose arrest led to a wave of protests and debate on free speech, was released on bail Thursday evening. Khalid remains in custody.

The Kejriwal government had ordered the probe on February 13. The DM spoke to eyewitnesses and scanned video footage. He also wrote to Zee News to provide raw footage, but did not get a reply. The footage shown on the channel played a role in sedition case being slapped on five students.

Three of the seven videos sent for verification were found to be doctored. “In those doctored versions, video has been edited and voices added,” he said.

The Delhi government’s report on the JNU row gave a clean chit to Kanhaiya Kumar but said “it could be presumed” that Umar Khalid raised separatist slogans on the campus on February 9.

The 112-page report submitted to deputy CM Manish Sisodia also pointed out how the Delhi Police were unsure if ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans were raised, despite being present at the venue.

It highlighted discrepancies in witness accounts. A key eyewitness, who before the JNU internal committee claimed to have heard Kanhaiya make an anti-national speech, retracted later, the report said.

It also contains a report by the forensics lab. Excerpts from the findings:

Kanhaiya Kumar

None of the witness heard Kanhaiya make an anti-national speech. He was possibly called when the programme was halted or when it was disrupted by another group. He came there and tried to mediate. He was part of a large gathering.

Umar Khalid

The main organiser of the event, he went ahead despite objection by the security. He is known for his views on Kashmir’s self determination and Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru. He has organised many such programmes in the past. Although hardly visible from any side, many security guards said they heard him. It could be presumed that Umar was the first speaker and he raised the following slogans: “Kashmir ki janta sangharsh karo, hum tumahare saath hai.”

Anirban and Ashutosh

The report states they were with Khalid during the event. JNU security staff claims to identify their voices and the following slogans could have been raised by them: “Afzal ki hatya nahi sahenge”, “Kitne Afzal maroge..Har ghar se Afzal niklega.”

Presence of outsiders

Many outsiders of Kashmiri descent are seen in the videos, shouting pro-Afzal and anti-India slogans. Many have their faces covered and they should be immediately identified for further investigation. Two of these students might be from JNU and the administration is working to identify them. JNU administration has segregated many faces from the video and placed them on the notice board for identification, the report further states.

On media presence

Zee News team was called to the event by ABVP’s Saurabh Sharma at 5.20 pm. The register entry of JNU that evening clearly reflects this. The report states that the district magistrate called the media house to share video and details, but they didn’t comply. The report also states that the news channel came in without any permission from the university. This channel flashed the news, and thereafter the police obtained the footage copy from their officers and filed an FIR.


Although the police witnessed the whole event, it did nothing to prevent it. The FIR states that the police found that people raised anti-national slogans under the leadership of Umar Khalid. The FIR does not state that Umar Khalid or Kanhaiya raised the slogans. The police are unclear whether ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans were raised and who raised the slogans, if at all, says the report.

“Pakistan Zindabad” was not heard in the Zee News raw footage or the transcripts of videos shot by the JNU security staff, says the report.


The DM selected seven videos to arrive at a conclusion. Three of them were found to be doctored. One video was finely edited, and the word ‘Bandook’ could have been inserted. Examination of video where ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans were heard revealed that sound and video were coming from two different sources. It was a doctored video to misguide public. One was shared on social media by Shipli Tiwari.

Investigation: The investigators examined the vice- chancellor, members of JNU’s internal inquiry, JNU security staff, students and other eyewitness. Videos from various channels, other videos from YouTube and videos made by the JNU security team were also examined. Investigators wanted to interrogate Khalid, Anirban and Ashutosh (the other two accused) after they resurfaced by they didn’t appear before the DM and sent a ‘Thank you’ note instead.

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