NEW DELHI: Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, the JNU students who were arrested in a sedition case, were confronted with one another during questioning at the south campus police station on Friday.
The trio were interrogated together for the first time and subjected to two rounds of questioning. Thereafter, JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar was sent back to Tihar jail. Delhi police had on Thursday sought a day’s police remand of Kanhaiya to interrogate him along with Umar and Anirban. The police had said they needed to confront him with Khalid and Anirban in view of discrepancies in their statements. Kumar was sent back to judicial remand, which will end on March 2, after the police told the court they did not need his further custody. Around 4.20 pm, Kumar left the premises of the RK Puram police station for Tihar jail.
The interrogators are likely to seek further remand of Khalid and Anirban, whose police custody ends on Saturday. During interrogation, Kanhaiya maintained that on February 9 he came out of his room only when he got to know about a possible confrontation between two groups over the event on the campus and dissociated himself with the event. While Khalid has so far denied having indulged in any anti-national sloganeering, Anirban challenged claims that the slogans mentioned by the police were anti-national in nature.
The police also showed them raw footage of the video of the February 9 event to ascertain identities of the others involved, especially whom they had termed “foreign elements”. In the FIR, the police had described Umar and Anirban as the main organisers and later, in the court, mentioned the presence of ‘foreign elements’ (outsiders) at the event.
While Kumar was arrested on February 12 and sent to judicial custody five days later, Khalid and Anirban surrendered on Monday, a day after they resurfaced at the JNU. All three of them were arrested in a case of sedition for allegedly organising the Afzal Guru event on JNU campus.