MYSURU: Nalini Balakumar, an alumna of the University of Mysore (UoM) who was seen holding the controversial ‘Free Kashmir’ placard during a protest held in the city recently to condemn the attack on JNU students, was grilled for about seven hours by the Jayalakshmipuram police on Saturday.
On Friday evening, a city court had granted conditional interim bail to Nalini after hearing her plea. A sedition case has been registered against her at the Jayalakshmipuram police station.
She arrived at the police station around 11 am on Saturday, accompanied by her father, to record her statement.
A team of senior officials, including Assistant Commissioner of Police Shivashankar, questioned her and recorded her statement. The questioning concluded only around 6 pm.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Mutthuraju, who visited the police station in the afternoon, refused to speak to the media persons on the issue.
“Nalini was asked about 80 questions in connection with the case,” said a police source.
A police source said that she was asked whether she was affiliated to any organisation and who invited her to the protest. The police also questioned why her mobile phone was switched off and her social media account deactivated after the incident.
Nalini of Tamil Nadu, who did her Masters in Journalism from the UoM, declined to give any statement to the media when she visited the police station. However, she released a recorded video to make her point.
In the video, she says, “I am speaking before you to clarify regarding a poster that I held during a protest at the UoM. By holding the ‘Free Kashmir’ poster, I was only trying to bring to notice the internet shutdown imposed in Kashmir over the last five months. I am not affiliated to any organisation and I am a simple person who is interested in the functioning of my country and I never intended to cause any kind of hatred.”
“I am ready to cooperate with the police investigation and will appear before them whenever I am needed to. I want to sincerely apologise to the department of police and the public for the confusion caused by the poster I held,” she said in the video.
The city police, who have registered a suo motu FIR over the protest, issued notices to students forums which had organised the vigil. A few organisations’s members, who received notices, also recorded their statements before the police.