NEW DELHI: Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, both accused of sedition, surrendered to the Delhi police late on Tuesday night. They were taken to the Vasant Kunj police station around midnight and will be produced before a local court on Wednesday.
The development came hours after the Delhi high court refused to grant the duo interim protection and directed them to surrender to the police.The High Court refused to give any interim protection to two JNU students who are accused in the sedition case along with JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and said that it would hear their plea on Wednesday.
Justice Pratibha Rani made it clear to Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya that the court couldn’t allow them to surrender in the manner they wished as it would amount to going by their “whims and fancies”. “There are procedures under the statute which have to be followed,” Justice Rani said. Umar and Anirban wanted to be given a safe passage and allowed to choose the place of their surrender, saying that they feared for their lives as the advocates in a sting operation and through media had said they will kill the students involved in the case. “The remand proceedings have to be done by a trial court and it (High Court) cannot go by their (the two petitioners’) whims and fancies. The moment the accused are arrested, he or she has to be produced within 24 hours before a trial court judge, who will decide the remand of the accused persons,” the judge said. The court asked both petitioners to secretly give details of the date, place and time where they will surrender, to the court so that police officials could ensure their safety. DCP Prem Nath, however, did not agree on the place, saying he had some inputs due to which the place was not accessible to police. The judge then called the DCP and the counsel of the accused, Trideep Pias, to come to her chamber and give reasons for the objection.
The students also alleged that the police had failed to protect JNUSU president Kanhaiya when he was being brought to the Patiala House court complex on February 17. The lawyers also abused the apex court-appointed committee of advocates who visited to take stock of the situation.