Delhi Police have stepped up security for JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, after a letter was found inside a bag, along with a country-made revolver and six bullets, in a DTC bus.
“The bag was located inside a bus which operates from JNU to ISBT. The bag had a letter, undersigned Amit Jani, which threatened that heads of Kumar nad Khalid will be decapitated,” a senior police official said.
The official added the letter has been sent for forensic analysis and further investigation is underway.
Student leaders Kumar, Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were jailed for sedition following a massive uproar over an event held in Jawaharlal Nehru University to protest the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. They were released last month.
This is not the first time that they have received a death threat.
Purvanchal Sena had offered Rs 11 lakh to anyone who kills the JNU student leader in posters had appeared in Delhi in March. Adarsh Sharma, who said he was the president of ‘Purvanchal Sena, was later arrested by the police.
Another poster that came out days after Sharma’s threat said “to shoot the traitors of JNU is a Rashtradharm (national duty). I shall shoot Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and Kanhaiya.” It was signed by Balbir Singh Bharatiya who claimed to be a social worker and has been a part of the Anna Hazare-led movement against corruption.
A BJP youth leader, Kuldeep Varshnay, had also announced a “reward” of Rs 5 lakh to anyone who cut off Kumar’s tongue. Varshnay was later expelled from his organisation.
“Police and the government should take action against people giving open threats to kill Kanhaiya and Umar. Giving more security to Umar, Kanhaiya and Anirban is one thing but [it’s more] important to take action against those issuing threats,” Rahila, a member of All India Students Federation, said.
Khalid’s friends also demanded action against people issuing such threats. “Threats are being issued under the names of individuals and organisation but police is not arresting them. People issue posters and announce a reward for killing JNU students and yet no arrests are made,” one of Umar’s friends said.
JNU students’ union vice-president Shehla Rashid Shora said she has already written to the vice-chancellor of the university about these threats.
“Administration must file an FIR against Amit Jani. Increasing security for JNU students will not help. It is the sense of impunity Amit Jani is perceiving that is allowing him to make such threats,” she said.
On Thursday, a shoe was hurled at Kanhaiya while he was addressing a gathering hardly a kilometre away from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters in Nagpur.
Kanhaiya was in Nagpur to participate in various programmes to mark BR Ambedkar’s 125 birth anniversary.