2 JNU students asked by Delhi High Court to surrender;Bassi warns of action

New Delhi

Two JNU students accused of sedition, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhttacharya, were today asked by the Delhi High Court to surrender and were not given any protection from arrest even as the Delhi Police Commissioner warned the five accused students that all options are open to act against them if they fail to cooperate.

While refusing to grant protection from arrest, the court asked both petitioners to give details of the date, place and time where they will surrender, to the court and that senior police officials will ensure their safety.

The High Court will tomorrow hear the plea of the two students, who are accused in a sedition case along with JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar, seeking protection during their surrender to the police.

As the legal battle intensfied, a plea seeking immediate arrest of the five JNU students accused of raising anti-national slogans came up before the High Court which dismissed it after the petitioner sought to withdraw it due to convert it into a criminal public interest litigation (PIL).

The plea was filed as a civil writ petition but when the matter came up for hearing before a bench of the advocate representing the petitioner sought.

At the outset, Justice Manmohan said, “You withdraw this plea and file a fresh writ petition. I am not going to change the nomenclature of this petition.”

Earlier in the day, the division bench had agreed to urgently hear the plea which also sought direction to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to allow Delhi Police to enter its premises to arrest the five students – Umar Khalid, Anant Prakash Narayan, Ashutosh Kumar, Rama Naga and Anirban Bhattacharya.

Kamini Jaiswal, appearing Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, sought protection from their arrest till tomorrow but the judge said, “I am simply re-notifying the matter for tomorrow. We are not disposing of the petition. Let it be heard tomorrow.”

Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi asserted that his force will not “shy away” from using its options if the five JNU students who have resurfaced in the campus after being in hiding for 10 days, fail to cooperate with the investigators.

“There is no doubt that seditious speeches and slogans were raised in the event concerned. We also know that some involved in it, who went absconding soon after, have now returned.

“At this point, there is no imminent threat to life and property, for which we are working with patience. For every job we do, our tactics are dynamic,” Bassi said.

He further said, “Today, we can afford to wait for them (the five students) to regain some ‘sadbuddhi’ (better sense) and cooperate with the police.”

On February 12, the police arrested JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar in connection with the case and started a search operation for others.

PTI

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