Umar Khalid and four other JNU students facing charges of sedition returned to the campus on Sunday night, saying they wanted to be part of the “struggle” against branding the university anti-national.
Khalid and Anirban even shouted slogans against the sedition charge, the RSS and called for “revolution” close to the vice-chancellors office.
Slogans like “Inquilab Zindabad, Sedition hum nahi sahenge, RSS ka ek jawab, fund cut ka ek jawab - Inquilab Zindabad” were raised by them.
Watch | Umar Khalid’s full speech after returning to JNU
However the two refused to speak to the media in the absence of their lawyer. Sources told HT that the two had not left the city and decided to come back to the campus. Students are now going to hold a night long vigil in the campus.
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.
“We were around but just did not come out in public because of the prevailing atmosphere. There is mob-lynching and witch-hunting going on but now we have decided to go out in public,” Ashutosh, who is with the All India Students Association (AISA), told HT
Police, too, reached the campus late in the evening, the PTI reported.
“We have only heard about the students reaching JNU just now. We have no concrete information of our own,” a senior police officer said. “If the students do not come and join investigation, we will take permission from the university authorities to get them…” the officer said.
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.
The others who “returned” are JNUSU general secretary Rama Nag and Anant.
Sources close to students said they won’t surrender but if police comes it can arrest them. “There is no question of surrender. Police can come and arrest them,” sources said.