The Delhi Police accelerated their search to arrest former students’ union leader Umar Khalid, allegedly the main organiser of the February 9 event on JNU campus where students reportedly raised “anti-India slogans”.
Police also tried to identify and trace some “outsiders”, part of the group that shouted the allegedly seditious slogans.
Former Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) leader Khalid became the police’s target, soon after a city court sent JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar to Tihar Jail. Kumar was arrested on charges of sedition.
Neither the FIR nor the situation report prepared by the special branch of Delhi Police mentioned anybody’s name for shouting anti-India slogans during the event.
The FIR and police report only referred to Kumar and Khalid as those who led the students’ protest march.
Khalid, originally from Bihar, allegedly absconded after a sedition case was registered in the incident and Kumar was arrested. His mobile number too was switched off the same day.
Scrutiny of Khalid’s mobile number showed that it was used frequently between February 6 and February 9 and the calls were made and received outside Delhi.
A senior police officer said they were questioning Khalid’s family members, relatives, friends and colleagues living in Delhi to find out his whereabouts.
We are raiding areas in Delhi-NCR, Bihar and other states where Khalid could be hiding, the officer said.
Similar raids are being conducted in West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, in search for ten more students who were allegedly involved in shouting anti-India slogans.
The Delhi Police sought help from their counterparts in these states to trace the absconding students.
“Teams have raided several places in as many as five states in the past two days. The ten absconding students include at least five from the JNU while others are members of Left-supported organisations,” a police official said. Police put their mobile phones under surveillance and airports across India were alerted about absconding students.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Police chief BS Bassi said, “People in huge numbers participated in it (the event), and we have already identified the ring leader. Now we are looking for all those who have been identified. Very soon, we will get hold of them.”