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Drop Charges, Say Teachers; Let 5 Prove Innocence: Bassi

JNU Teachers Association demand dropping of sedition charges against five students, termination of current enquiry committee to probe controversial event.

Published: 23rd February 2016 05:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2016 05:02 AM   |  A+A-

Bassi

NEW DELHI: Following an hour-long meeting with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar on Monday, the JNU Teachers Association demanded dropping of sedition charges against five students and termination of the current enquiry committee set up by the university to probe the controversial event on February 9.

The five students have been identified as — Umar Khalid, member of the Democratic Students Union (DSU), Rama Naga, JNU Students Union (JNUSU) general secretary, Ashutosh, AISA secretary, Anirban Bhattacharya and Anant Narayan, former JNUSU vice president. They have declared that they are not afraid and the police are welcome to arrest them.

However, Delhi police commissioner B S Bassi, clarifying that he believes it is for the students to prove their innocence, said: “They should join the probe. If they say they are innocent, they should present evidence of their innocence.”

Bassi.jpgAddressing students, Umar Khalid said, “We don’t agree with, nor did we raise, the other slogans that have been reported. I want to say that I don’t believe in any nationalism. I dream of a world without nations or boundaries. It is up to us to create that world.” “For the first time in seven years, in the last 10 days, I was made to feel like a Muslim. I was reduced to my identity and it is shameful... These people are telling us about patriotism... They may have majority but they are scared of us... scared of our struggle, they are afraid of us because we think...,” he added.

Ashutosh told Express, “The way students came out in support for us earlier encouraged us to come back. We believe in the system, but the way Kanhaiya Kumar was attacked scared us. The media frenzy about JNU being anti-nationalist is wrong.”

The high-level enquiry committee set up by the university, comprising three faculty members, which was expected to submit its final report by Thursday has now postponed it to March 3.

SC Not to broaden scope

The SC has made it clear that it would confine itself to the violence in Patiala House Courts complex in which JNU students, teachers and journalists were attacked during the hearing of the sedition case against JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar.

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