Kan­haiya walks out of Ti­har jail, gets a rous­ing wel­come

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Stu­dent leader Kan­haiya Ku­mar was ac­corded a hero’s wel­come at JNU upon his re­lease from Ti­har jail on Thurs­day, nearly three weeks af­ter he was ar­rested on a con­tro­ver­sial sedi­tion charge that sparked ma­jor protests and a na­tion­wide de­bate over free speech.

Kan­haiya de­liv­ered a rous­ing speech to fel­low stu­dents and teach­ers on the cam­pus, say­ing he stood for “free­dom in In­dia” and not “free­dom from In­dia”, set­ting so­cial me­dia abuzz. He de­nied hav­ing made anti-na­tional com­ments and ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of try­ing to crush any voice of dis­sent, say­ing the vic­timised JNU stu­dents stood with the coun­try’s poor and the or­di­nary foot sol­diers of law en­force­ment.

“I thank the peo­ple sit­ting in Par­lia­ment de­cid­ing wrong and right, the po­lice and those few me­dia chan­nels,” he said.

Stu­dents and teach­ers queued out­side Kan­haiya’s hos­tel Brahma­pu­tra with drums and mu­si­cal in­stru­ments on Thurs­day evening to ac­com­pany him dur­ing the speech. “Kan­haiya was re­leased from the jail at around 6.30 pm af­ter his bail bond and re­lease or­ders were prop­erly scru­ti­nised,” Ti­har jail spokesman Mukesh Prasad said.

On Wed­nes­day, the Delhi high court granted the stu­dent leader six months’ in­terim bail while the po­lice con­duct an in­vesti-

gation into the case, di­rect­ing him not to par­tic­i­pate in “anti­na­tional” ac­tiv­i­ties.

Kan­haiya was ar­rested on Fe­bru­ary 12 over a rally at JNU where anti-In­dia slo­gans were al­legedly chanted. He had been in ju­di­cial cus­tody in Ti­har jail since Fe­bru­ary 17.

Two other stu­dents,

Umar Khalid and Anir­ban Bhat­tacharya, ac­cused of be­ing among the or­gan­is­ers of the JNU event, have been ar­rested on the same sedi­tion charge as Kan­haiya. Sedi­tion car­ries a max­i­mum penalty of life im­pris­on­ment though con­vic­tions are rare.

RE­LATED RE­PORTS, P12

SAN­JEEV VERMA/HT

JNU stu­dent leader Kan­haiya Ku­mar (cen­tre) af­ter his re­lease from Ti­har jail in New Delhi on Thurs­day.

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