A ‘Thank you’ message was all that a senior official got from Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, the two JNU students at the centre of a sedition row, when he sought to interrogate them in the case.
Khalid and Anirban declined to appear before district magistrate Sanjay Kumar, tasked with probing the case, and sent him a ‘Thank you’ note.
New Delhi district magistrate Sanjay Kumar had on February 23 gone to Jawaharlal Nehru University to interrogate Khalid, Anirban and another JNU student, Ashutosh Kumar, hours before the first two surrendered to the police.
“I wanted to interrogate Khalid. When I heard news of them (Khalid and Bhattacharya) being back in JNU after their disappearance, I went there on February 23 to interrogate them.”
“I was sitting in a room while Khalid -- along with Anirban and Kumar -- was in another classroom that day. I sent a message to Khalid on his phone to appear before me, but he sent back a message saying they would first consult their lawyers. They added a ‘Thank you’ in the message,” Kumar said.
Khalid and Anirban are in police remand since their surrender and subsequent arrest on February 24. Police have also questioned Ashutosh twice.
On March 1, a Delhi court sent Khalid and Anirban, arrested in the sedition case over a controversial event on the JNU campus, to 14 days’ judicial custody.