Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi on Monday asked five JNU students facing charges of sedition in connection with alleged “anti-India” slogans to join investigations and prove they are innocent.
The students, including Umar Khalid, returned to the campus on Sunday night, saying they wanted to be part of the “struggle” against branding the Jawaharlal Nehru University anti-national.
“I would say if the police are looking for them then they should join the police investigation. And if they are innocent, they should present evidence of their innocence,” Bassi said.
When asked if the police would enter the JNU campus to arrest the students, Bassi said his men are competent enough to deal with the situation. “The investigating officer would exercise the best available option. As far as the Delhi Police is concerned, we always aim for maintaining the law and order situation of the city,” he added.
Khalid and others shouted slogans against the sedition charge on Sunday night and called for a “revolution”.
They were “around” but just didn’t step out in public, former Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ union president Ashutosh said. A nation-wide hunt was launched to track the students, who went into hiding after cases were lodged against him.
Khalid has been blamed for planning a rally on the campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which alleged anti-India slogans were chanted. Police crackdown that followed has snowballed into a major controversy, with teachers and students holding protests in the capital and other cities.
“They are back and will remain on campus. There is no arrest warrant against them. They will take part in our struggle for JNU,” said Sucheta De, AISA national president and former JNUSU president.
The police are waiting for vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar’s permission to enter the university campus to arrest the students, according to a report.
With inputs from agencies