TISS student quizzed for 5 hours in sedition caseUpdated: Feb 14, 2020 00:50 IST
Twenty-two year-old student of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Kris Chudawala was questioned for approximately five hours on Thursday by Azad Maidan police. Chudawala, a trans-identified student whose name given at birth is Urvashi, has been charged with sedition for allegedly raising objectionable slogans at an event held in the city earlier in the month.
On February 11, the Bombay High Court (HC) had granted Chudawala protection from arrest and questioned whether the police had followed the HC’s guidelines when filing the case against them. The court directed Chudawala to report to the Azad Maidan police station on Wednesday, Thursday and whenever else police officials require for their investigation. The judge also asked the state to be “reasonable” and not call Chudawala on Friday, when she has an exam.
On Wednesday, the sessions court granted anticipatory bail to two other students of TISS who had also been charged with sedition for attending the same event that Chudawala had. Previously, the sessions court had denied anticipatory bail to Chudawala, which led to them moving HC.
The police said Chudawala was cooperating with the investigation. “On Wednesday, they [Chudawala] came to Azad Maidan police and gave their statement. The police seized their mobile phone and took their proper address as per their documents. They were asked some questions related to the slogans raised,” said a police officer from Azad Maidan police station.
On Thursday, Chudawala arrived at Azad Maidan police station with their mother and lawyer at 11am. They were questioned till 4.15pm. The police said Chudawala’s email and social media accounts were also being scrutinised as part of the investigation.
Chudawala was charged with sedition on February 3, following a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kirit Somaiya in response to a video from an event held in Mumbai that was circulated on social media. In it, Chudawala was allegedly raising objectionable slogans in favour of Sharjeel Imam, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University who has been arrested for sedition. As per the HC’s guidelines, the police must prove the accused’s actions exhibited intention and tendency to create public disorder in order to file a case of sedition.