Before Kanhaiya, two people booked in Delhi for sedition in past 10 yrs | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Before Kanhaiya, two people booked in Delhi for sedition in past 10 yrs

Did Delhi Police book JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and five others for sedition due to “extraneous pressure”? If one considers that only two persons were booked under the colonial-era law in the Capital in the past 10 years, the allegations seem to gain weight.

delhi Updated: Feb 27, 2016 19:03 IST
Ananya Bhardwaj
Delhi
None of the accused had to spend time in jail but in contrast, Kanhaiya Kumar, against whom police are yet to back their case with evidence, has already spent more than 10 days behind bars and has been labelled “anti-national”.(PTI Photo)

Did Delhi Police book JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar and five others for sedition due to “extraneous pressure”? If one considers that only two persons were booked under the colonial-era law in the Capital in the past 10 years, the allegations seem to gain weight.

In both cases reported in 2012 and 2013, the police lodged a case only on the directions of the court and the charges were dropped later.

But in the JNU case, the police not only registered an FIR after an initial ‘probe’, they invoked the sedition charge on the basis of some video clippings. The evidence in the past two cases was far too damning and direct, in one of which MNS chief Raj Thackeray was an accused.

None of the accused had to spend time in jail but in contrast, Kanhaiya Kumar, against whom police are yet to back their case with evidence, has already spent more than 10 days behind bars and has been labelled “anti-national”.

‘Gherao Parliament’

In February 2013, Abu Barra — a UK resident — had said he intended to take out a march by his ‘Muslim fellow brothers’ to “occupy” roads surrounding Parliament while in session. Police told him that the area was protected by special laws while Parliament was in session and that the protest venue be shifted to Jantar Mantar. In a written note, Abu Barra replied he had no faith in the Constitution and no laws were binding upon “them”.

“The laws preventing protest have no authority over us and there is no basis to abide by these prohibitions. Moreover, the aim of our movement is to remove the Constitution of India and replace all with the Shari’ah rules. It is not the aim of the movement to preserve or obey these laws in any way,” he had written in response to the police suggestion.

“As such the act of seeking a judgment from the Supreme Court of India is a great crime and the judgment issued by it is null and void. We do not recognise any authority of the Supreme Court of India and the undertaking requested by it is not binding upon anyone. It is surprising that Indian political parties offer bread crumbs to appease Muslims and win their votes, yet their true colour appear when Muslims call for the right to authority over India to be returned to them. We are calling for the Shari’ah to be implemented in India as this is a duty from Allah and a foundation of Islam,” Barra said in his response.

The police initially ignored the matter and registered a case on the direction of court months later. The case was later transferred to the Special Cell. After a four-year investigation, the police closed the case in January 2016 as ‘untraced’. “We tried to contact him and even sent a letter rogatory to the UK but since no evidence came on record it was closed,” a source said.

Hate speech

In March 2013, Delhi-based lawyer Mithilesh Kumar Pandey filed a complaint against MNSchief Raj Thackeray over an alleged “hate” speech, targeting people from Bihar and UP.

“While addressing a gathering of 50,000 people at Azad Maidan in Mumbai, Thackeray had said that Muslims of Bihar, Jharkhand and Bangladesh were responsible for the violence reported on August 11,2012 in Mumbai that left several people dead. The MNSleader told the gathering that people from Bihar and UP were responsible for the violence and should be thrown out of the city. The speech of Raj Thackeray against North Indian instigated violence against them. The situation is so tense that it may trigger a riot in many states across India, all because of the hate speeches,” the lawyer said in his complaint.

The police registered a case only on court orders, however, the police failed to find any evidence. Raj Thackeray was never summoned by the police and the FIR was quashed later.

Read: Police didn’t arrest my attacker even after I identified him, says Kanhaiya