NEW DELHI: Five Jawaharlal University students, including Umar Khalid, who the police are looking for in connection with a sedition case, today surfaced on campus and said they did not in fact make ani-India statements at a meeting on Feb. 9 but were "framed" using a "doctored video".
|- Protests Against 'Anti-national' Activities in JNU|
The students said they would not voluntarily surrender but would not resist arrest.
The police rushed a team to the campus upon receiving information about them,
The five students -- Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Anant Prakash -- had gone missing from campus since February 12 after JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on charges of sedition for allegedly raising anti-India slogans at a protest against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
According to Ashutosh Kumar, a former president of the JNU students union and a PhD scholar in the JNU School of International Studies, they decided to come back in the public to cooperate with the enquiry.
"The massive support we got from students and others from across the globe has given us the strength to return. I, Rama, Anirban and Anant were around but did not come out in public due to the lynch mob atmosphere prevailing on campus," he said.
He, however, maintained that the four of them were not in touch with Umar Khalid and had only spoken to him last on February 9, the day of the event.
Ashutosh Kumar said the students remained in Delhi. The decision to return on Sunday evening was taken individually and not collectively.
"We didn't do anything wrong but were being framed using a doctored video. We will not go anywhere now and will be part of the movement against the branding of JNU as anti-national," he said.
Khalid denied he had any terrorist links. "I am disturbed by the way I have been attacked. I am also angry at the comments posted against my sister on social media," Khalid said.
Police said the students have not surrendered and a team has been rushed to the varsity.
A video of Umar Khalid's speech at JNU's administrative block was posted on YouTube by the channel 'Stand With JNU'. Express could not independently verify the authenticity of the video or the exact time at which the event happened.
"So far nobody has surrendered. Officials at the Vasant Kunj North police station have been asked to wait for them to present themselves before the police. If they don't come till morning, police team will be sent tomorrow to arrest them. No crackdown can be conducted at this hour," he added.
When contacted university officials, maintained that they had no information about the students' presence in the varsity's premises.