The Delhi Police provided round-the-clock security to JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar on his release from Tihar Jail on Thursday evening.
Kumar, who is out on a six-month interim bail after being charged with sedition, was whisked away from the residential quarters within the prison at 6.30 pm in a Xylo car to avoid the crowd outside gate four, sources said. An additional deputy commissioner rank officer was present to supervise his transfer from the jail.
However, while a decision to provide the student leader X-category security cover was made, a formal order to the effect is yet to be passed.
“The threat perception is high. It was decided that X-category would be provided but we have received no word. The local police are handling his security,” an officer from the security unit told Hindustan Times.
Kumar was first taken to the Hari Nagar police station from where senior police officers in three police vans escorted the Xylo car in which he was taken to Jawaharlal Nehru University campus. Sources said that an armed police officer was also inside car.
Policemen from the Vasant Vihar police station were instructed to be posted on JNU campus for Kumar’s security, and would be backed by police in plain clothes, especially at rallies Kumar is likely to conduct or attend.
Sources from Tihar jail said Kumar, during his incarceration, expressed fears of being attacked outside the prison.
The student leader was attacked by a mob of lawyers when he was produced at the Patiala House court in last month. A lawyers was also caught claiming he would use a petrol bomb to attack Kanhaiya and other students in a sting operation.
Such was the perceived threat that police had disguised Kumar in anti-riot police gear to prevent the mob from recognising and attacking him while escorting him out of the court premises.
Kumar is at the eye of a storm over allegations of seditious slogans being chanted at an event in JNU on February 9. He has maintained that he was neither part of organising committee nor among those who may have yelled out the slogans. Police arrested him based on video footage televised by Zee TV. However, some of the footage has been forensically determined as doctored, weakening the Delhi Police’s case against Kumar. Two other student – Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya – were also arrested on the same charges.