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Case against the Kanhaiya may fall if the video is found doctored

JNU protests Updated: Feb 24, 2016 02:09 IST
Prawesh Lama
Kanhaiya Kumar

Jawaharlal Nehru University president Kanhaiya Kumar in police custody.(HT Photo)

The only evidence against JNU students’ union leader Kanhaiya Kumar, according to the DCP’s report accessed by HT, is the Zee News video clipping and statements of eyewitnesses who claim to have seen him during the protest.

The authenticity of the footage is under scrutiny, given that a journalist from the channel resigned accusing it of running the clipping where neither the words Pakistan Zindabad were audible, nor Kanhaiya’s face was visible.

In one section of the report section titled ‘Evidence so far against Kanhaiya Kumar,‘ DCP (South) Prem Nath said the first evidence against Kanhaiya was a TV clip from Zee News. “Presence of Kanhaiya has been found along with the group shouting anti-national/constitutional slogans in the video footage obtained from Zee news channel,”reads the report.

Evidence number 2 in the report, the DCP mentions, is the statement of eyewitnesses, who have claimed to have seen Kanhaiya at the Sabarmati hostel and the Ganga dhaba from where the protest rally was organised.

Evidence number 3, according to the officer, is the statement of eyewitnesses who have claimed to have seen Kanhaiya asking security personnel to “remove students from the front and allow the procession to march ahead which was followed by jostling and heckling, thus creating a law and order problem.”

The final evidence mentioned in the report is the prima facie report of JNU’s internal inquiry committee following which Kanhaiya and eight others have been suspended. Quoting the report, the officer has said that the organisers had lied to the university authorities by claiming that they were organising a cultural meet while the objective was to hold a political rally.

Slogans raised

In the report, the students have been accused of shouting anti-India and inflammatory slogans but the slogans mentioned in police report do not include the words Pakistan Zindabad. The students were booked for sedition on the basis of a news channel footage where they were supposedly heard shouting Pakistan Zindabad, among other slogans.

The police report does not match with the footage shown by the channel. In the FIR, police on the basis of the footage had accused students of shouting PakistanZindabad. Legal experts believe that the case against the students could fall apart if the footage was found to be doctored.

A journalist who resigned from Zee News had alleged in his resignation letter that when they first saw the footage of the clipping in office, the newsroom was divided and unsure if the footage had the slogan Pakistan Zindabad.

According to the contents of the report, the students have been accused of shouting 28 slogans such as “Afzal Guru, Maqbool Bhatt Zindabad, Kashmir ki Azaadi tak jung rahegi, Bharat ki Barbadi tak jung rahegi, Go India go back, Indian Army Murdabad, Kitne Afzal marogey har ghar se Afzal niklega, Bandook ke dum pe lengay azadi.”