Accused of raising seditious slogans, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya have stated that they are confident of their innocence and have full faith in the judiciary. This comes after the Delhi government gave its assent to the Delhi police to try Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for the 2016 sedition case where the three accused were charged for raising seditious slogans in the JNU campus.
In a joint statement put out by Umar Khalid on his Twitter account, Khalid wrote that as they will defend themselves in the court, they will expose the lies of the ruling regime and its 'fake claims of being nationalist'. DCP Pramod Kushwaha has confirmed that the police have been given the nod by the Kejriwal government. The trial is set to be heard from April 3 by a Delhi court.
In the series of tweets, Khalid also stated that they have been living under the shadow of these 'false charges' and this trial shall prove that the media trial at the behest of the ruling regime was false. Earlier, co-accused Kanhaiya Kumar also broke his silence on the matter as he thanked the Delhi government for giving its assent to the Delhi police. The then-JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar added that he requests the police and government lawyers to take the case with utter sensitivity.
(1/3) Statement by Me and Anirban:— Umar Khalid (@UmarKhalidJNU) February 28, 2020
The news of Delhi govt granting sanction to sedition case against us doesn't trouble us at all. We are confident of our innocence, have full faith in the judiciary & have ourselves been demanding the case against us to be tried in the courts.
(2/3) The ensuing trial will vindicate us & prove that the media trial at the behest of the ruling regime was false, malicious & politically motivated. We have lived under the shadow of these false charges for far too long. Finally, sab doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani hoga!— Umar Khalid (@UmarKhalidJNU) February 28, 2020
(3/3) And as we will defend ourselves in the court, we will expose the lies of the ruling regime and its fake claims of being nationalist.— Umar Khalid (@UmarKhalidJNU) February 28, 2020
Earlier on February 20, the Delhi Police requested the Delhi Government to give clearance so that they could take further action on Kumar's sedition case. In a letter to the Delhi Home Secretary, the police requested the government to provide sanction so that they could prosecute him and others in the 2016 JNU Sedition case. Kumar is currently holding public rallies against CAA-NRC-NPR in Bihar.
A Delhi court had directed the Delhi government to file a status report by April 3 on the issue of sanctions to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar and others in the sedition case. While hearing the case, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Purushottam Pathak had also directed the Delhi Police to send a reminder to the city government seeking requisite sanctions to prosecute Kumar. Soon after, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had said that he will ask the department concerned to take an 'early decision' on the prosecution sanction even though he did not have 'a say'.
The Delhi police charged Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, and Anirban Bhattacharya for raising 'anti-national slogans' during an event organized in JNU campus in February 2016. This event had allegedly been organized to mark the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. After being arrested on 12 February, Kumar was granted bail for six months on March 2, 2016.
Kumar is one of the 10 main accused who has been charge-sheeted under the section 124A (Sedition), 323 (Voluntarily causing hurt), 465 (Forgery), 471 (Using of a forged document), 143 (Unlawful assembly), 149 (Common object), 147 (Rioting) and 120B (Criminal conspiracy) in January 2019. The police claimed that there were videos wherein Kanhaiya Kumar was seen leading a group of students, allegedly raising slogans like 'Bharat tere tukde honge, Insha Allah Insha allah'. Kumar, himself has maintained that the videos were doctored. The charge sheet was not taken cognisance of by the relevant court, as the Delhi government hadn't yet given sanction for it to be filed.