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Bassi confident JNU student Kanhaiya was involved, Centre not convinced

JNU protests Updated: Feb 16, 2016 11:13 IST
HT Correspondent
BS Bassi

Bassi, who met the home minister on Monday, maintained that the Kumar did deliver the alleged seditious speech.(Hindustan Times)

Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi on Monday defended the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, saying the student leader raised anti-national slogans during a controversial event on the campus, but sources in the security establishment remained skeptical of his claim.

Activists of AISA shout slogans in front of computer science department in JNU, on Monday protesting against police action on varsity students.

The security establishment has even washed its hands off the controversial claim by Union home minister Rajnath Singh that the JNU event got support of the Pakistani terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyeba’s patron Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.

“We didn’t find anything against Kanhaiya but since the Delhi Police have arrested him, they must be having some evidence against the student leader,” said a senior security official, requesting anonymity.

Bassi, who met the home minister on Monday, maintained that the Kumar did deliver the alleged seditious speech.

“Kanhaiya was present at the event, where he delivered a speech and participated in an unlawful assembly which indulged in anti-India sloganeering. That’s why he has been arrested,” Bassi told reporters.

Official sources said the JNU issue was also discussed in the daily intelligence briefing, which is chaired by the home minister and attended by the intelligence chiefs and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Bassi also said that the student leader will also be interrogated for terror links. He, however, said they have found no evidence linking LeT to the JNU incident so far. “As and when it comes, it will be shared with the home ministry,” Bassi said.

On the involvement of members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Bassi said, “As far as I am informed, ABVP students were protesting against the particular event. However, if anything comes up against them, they will also face action.”

The Delhi top cop also spoke on the controversy surrounding a tweet purportedly by Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed. He said it was the content of tweet that matters more than its authenticity. “Don’t go into whether the tweet is authentic or not. See what the content is. The tweet was blasphemous, which could incite violence, and that is the only reason why we issued an alert. I am surprised that people are more concerned about the (authenticity of the) tweet than its potential impact. The Twitter account is being probed.”

Police sources said they are also looking into the content of various other tweets. The police have written to Twitter headquarters in California to help them identify the email id and location from where the said tweets were generated. “The authenticity of the tweets will be ascertained. A new tweet in the name of Hafiz Saeed has emerged, saying that the accusation against him over the JNU situation was based on a post from a fake account. The said tweet is also being verified,” sources said.

The security establishment has also said they had no intelligence inputs on Hafiz Saeed’s involvement in the imbroglio. “We don’t have any intelligence input in this connection. The Delhi police might have something in this regard,” said the security official.

Rajnath’s deputy, Kiren Rijiju, defended Singh saying intelligence inputs indicated that Hafiz Saeed and some related organisations were backing the JNU incident.

“That is what the Home Minister had said,” said Rijiju.

When pressed more about intelligence inputs, he added they can’t be shared or analysed in public.