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Won’t oppose bail but no clean chit to Kanhaiya: Bassi

Delhi Police will not object to bail for Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Kanhaiya Kumar but hasn’t cleared the student leader of sedition charges for allegedly organising an event where “anti-national” slogans were shouted, city police commissioner BS Bassi said on Wednesday.

JNU protests Updated: Feb 18, 2016 00:16 IST
JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar being taken to Patiala House court in New Delhi.
JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar being taken to Patiala House court in New Delhi.(Virender Singh Gosain/HT)

Delhi Police will not object to bail for Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Kanhaiya Kumar but hasn’t cleared the student leader of sedition charges for allegedly organising an event where “anti-national” slogans were shouted, city police commissioner BS Bassi said on Wednesday.

He said JNU authorities were cooperating “fully” with the probe and that every person who “thinks about the interest of the nation is supporting us”.

“The situation at present reminds me of the verse ‘Dekh tere sansar ki halaat kya ho gayi hain bhagwan, kitna badal gaya insaan’ (Oh Lord what has this world come to, how much has the man changed),” he 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.”

Bassi said the police have evidence people from outside also attended the February 9 event at JNU that triggered the sedition allegations.

“What we have found out is that people from outside besides those from JNU participated in the demonstration. Now what was the motive behind this is something we will look into. We are investigating all aspects in detail,” he said.

Read: JNU student leader Kanhaiya sent to judicial custody, attacked in court

The Opposition and civil society members have repeatedly criticised the police for overreacting in its crackdown on JNU students, and that security agencies don’t agree with the sedition charge.

But Bassi dismissed these reports, saying investigators were looking at all aspects of the case.

“We arrested Kanhaiya Kumar on the basis of adequate evidence collected against him. I won’t be telling you about the process of investigation and what all we have found out so far,” said Bassi, after reportedly briefing the prime minister’s office on the issue.

Read: JNU row: All you need to know about Kanhaiya’s sedition charge

The sedition charges and subsequent police action have sparked a spate of protests across universities in the country, with activists alleging the police was working on the behest of the BJP to muzzle free speech.

“Not at all,” he said when asked whether there was any clean chit to Kumar. The JNU students and teachers are on a strike demanding Kumar’s unconditional release.

The police also summoned three lawyers and Delhi BJP legislator OP Sharma for allegedly thrashing journalists and students outside the Patiala House court two days ago.

Read: JNU again? Afzal, Azad Kashmir posters at Jadavpur University

Pics: Stones thrown, slogans shouted at Kanhaiya’s bail hearing