Slapped on Rahul, Ke­jri­wal, Yechury

Po­lice file FIR af­ter court or­der, JNU stu­dents, more lead­ers named

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

HY­DER­ABAD: A sedi­tion case was lodged against Congress vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi, Delhi chief min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal, CPI(M) gen­eral sec­re­tary Si­taram Yechury and six oth­ers in Hy­der­abad on Sun­day, deep­en­ing a row over al­leged anti-na­tional speeches at Delhi’s Jawa­har­lal Nehru Univer­sity that has seen vi­o­lent protests and frac­tious Par­lia­ment sittings in re­cent days.

A first in­for­ma­tion re­port (FIR) was reg­is­tered at Sa­roor­na­gar po­lice sta­tion un­der Cy­ber­abad po­lice com­mis­sion­er­ate on the direction of a metropoli­tan mag­is­trate, who was urged to book the nine peo­ple by a group of lawyers.

Congress lead­ers Anand Sharma and Ajay Maken, CPI leader D Raja, JD(U) spokesper­son KC Tyagi, JNUSU pres­i­dent Kan­haiya Ku­mar and JNU re­search scholar Umar Khalid are the oth­ers named in com­plaint.

“It is a court-re­ferred mat­ter. Fol­low­ing the court’s di­rec­tive, a case un­der sec­tion 124A of the IPC (sedi­tion) has been reg­is­tered yes­ter­day (Satur­day) against nine per­sons, in­clud­ing Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Ke­jri­wal, Si­taram Yechury, JNUSU pres­i­dent Kan­haiya Ku­mar and oth­ers,” Sa­roor­na­gar Po­lice sta­tion in­spec­tor S Lin­ga­iah said on Sun­day.

The court has posted the mat­ter for hear­ing on March 4. It passed the or­ders for the FIR on a com­plaint by Ja­nard­han Goud and two other lawyers, who moved the court af­ter po­lice re­fused to reg­is­ter the case.

They al­leged that anti-india slo­gans were raised dur­ing a protest or­gan­ised at JNU on Feb 9 against hang­ing of Par­lia­ment at­tack con­vict Afzal Guru.

They also com­plained that on Feb 13 Rahul Gandhi and other lead­ers vis­ited the Jawa­har­lal Nehru Univer­sity to sup­port of the stu­dents who had par­tic­i­pated in protests against the na­tion.

“These stu­dents and lead­ers like Rahul Gandhi, D Raja and oth­ers are vi­o­lat­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion by sup­port­ing the anti-na­tion­als,” said the pe­ti­tioner.

Kan­haiya and Khalid have been ar­rested by Delhi po­lice. It was Kan­haiya’s ar­rest that sparked na­tion­wide protests and out­rage from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ri­vals — es­pe­cially the par­ties of Gandhi, Yechury and Ke­jri­wal — who said the Union gov­ern­ment was crack­ing down on free speech.

In the days since the ar­rest on Fe­bru­ary 12, doubts have emerged over the au­then­tic­ity of the video footage, which was the ba­sis for the orig­i­nal com­plaint of sedi­tion against the stu­dents.

In his pe­ti­tion, Goud said he has ev­ery right to ques­tion those who are in­dulging in “anti-na­tional ac­tiv­i­ties and also those who are en­cour­ag­ing anti-na­tion­als in the name of sol­i­dar­ity for those who are fac­ing crim­i­nal charges un­der sec­tion 124(A) of IPC.”

The court passed the or­ders for the FIR on a com­plaint by Ja­nard­han Goud and two other lawyers, who al­leged that anti-india slo­gans were raised dur­ing a protest or­gan­ised at JNU.

PHO­TOS: PTI, HT FILE/VIPIN KU­MAR

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