NEW DELHI: After staying six days in police custody and 17 days in isolated cell of Tihar prison, Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar facing sedition charges was released from the jail on Thursday evening after the Delhi High Court granted interim bail.
LIVE: Excerpts from his speech
After reaching, Kumar delivered a speech in his campus and and talked about the days when he was detained by police. According to TV reports, he was reportedly addressing a crowd of about 50,000.
- Recalling a conversation with a police official, he said that he was asked about the meaning of "laal salaam". He explained to the constable that 'laal' represents 'kranti' and that the slogan meant, "We're saluting 'kranti."
- He also added that a JNU students was sent to jail after a very long time. Taking a dig at PM Narendra Modi, he jokes that he has to address him with respect. "I wanted to get inside the TV and hold his kurta and ask him to talk a bit about Hitler. If not Hilter then a little bit about Musharraf," he said.
- "We never asked for 'azaadi' from India. Is anyone a slave in India? No right? We were for independence from asking from poverty. We seek independence from the people who are trying to loot the country."
- "We don't want freedom from India, we want freedom in India."
- "The times are very serious now. We need to contemplate about the organised way in which JNU was attacked."
- "Kyunki 'Satyamev Jayate' aapka (PM) nhi, iss desh ka, samvidhaan ka hai, Mai bhi kehta hun 'Satyamev Jayate'"
- "The police constable who I met wanted to pursue a PhD, but since he did not have money, he could go for higher studies. People who can not afford to spend lakhs on education come to JNU for their education. "
- "After being in jail, I realised the importance of talking to parents," Kumar said and advises his audience to speak to their parents. He also said that though PM Modi speaks "Mann Ki Baat", he fails to listen to "Mann Ki Baat".
- Kanhaiya after release said “Would like to thank the entire country for showing the support. The fight between fiction and facts is a long one, and whatever my experiences have been I would like to share with my countrymen. Will go to my home, to share my thoughts among the Dalit, poor and the downtrodden in order to save the country.
- "Iss desh ke 69% logon ne uss maansikta ke khilaaf vote dia hai.Keval 31% log.Aur usme se bhi kuch aapki jumlebaazi mein fass gye," Kumar said.
- "A case of sedition was also registered against the likes of Kejriwal, Yechury and others. The Government is taking action against 'anti-nationals', but instead the action is against anyone who dares to speak against it."
- "Today I spoke to a constable, who asked if I follow religion. I said incidentally I was born into a Hindu family," he said.
- "Fight initiated by Rohith Vemula, all of you and peace-loving people in country, will be pursued by us and we'll win this battle."
- "Its a conspiracy to stifle the voice of struggle and students of JNU by terming everyone as traitors. But they can not stifle our voice, themore they try to pressure us, themore we'll fight back."
- "JNU will stand and fight for the right. The fight that Rohith Vemula began, the fight that we all have started, we will continue to fight and win."
- "This is a long fight and we've to continue, without bowing or stopping."
- "I was asked if I would raise slogans again, I said yes, I will do it again," he said. Laughter and applaud from the audience ensued.
- He concludes the speech by thanking everyone for the support and the campus resounds again with Azaadi slogan. Amidst a huge turn out, Kanhaiya captures the audience with his spellbinding speech.
In heavy police cover, away from the public eye Kumar left prison premises in a SUV (Xylo) car escorted by officials of Delhi Police along with two JNU faculty members and his lawyer. Kumar's bail bond was furnished in Delhi court for his release in sedition case. The court then issued Kanhaiya's release orders to Tihar.
Not entering from the main gate, Kumar entered the campus from western section of JNU campus, dodging media persons Kumar met faculty members and some of his friends at his hostel. With a sign of relief, he interacted with his fellow comrades over a cup of tea at his hostel-Brahamaputra. Kanhaiya’s family members were present at Tihar Jail since Thursday morning.
Manikant brother of Kanhaiya who has already left for their hometown said “We hope he is safe because of the fear of his safety, but he cannot live a life and study like this if there is fear.”
A “Victory March” was held to welcome ‘Comrade Kanhaiya’s Azadi, shouted the charged up crowd waiting for a glimpse of the student leader, after he was arrested for allegedly raising anti-national slogans. Shouting "victory" slogans for Kanhaiya, students later marched from Sabarmati Dhaba, during the night hours up to the administration block. No party flag was put up in the protest only a large India flag in the gathering
“We took cognizance of each and every security aspect to not let any troublesome event take place and Kanhaiya will be taken out safely,” said a police officer.
His release took place amid speculated rumors about a clash said to have reportedly occurred between his supporters and ABVP supporters after his release. Police officers said that they will keep an eye on JNU campus to prevent any clash between the two groups.
Former JNUSU president Lenin Kumar said “This is not exactly a victory, but we are happy that our leader is back to lead us. His safety inside the campus and outside is a concern for us, but police have assured of his safety.”
Meanwhile, two separate meetings of the students union and JNU teachers association were underway to decide the future course of action.
However, the university administration maintained the report of the high-level committee has not been submitted to it yet.
"The five-member panel had a deadline till 12 am today. The varsity will take a call based on the recommendations of the panel," a senior JNU official said.