BJP government is leaving no stone unturned ahead of Lok Sabha polls in 2019. In a 3-year-old case of allegedly raising seditious slogans, a charge sheet has been filed against Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya and other student leaders from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The 1200 page charge sheet at Patiala House Court against former JNU Students’ leaders also includes the names of Aquib Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, Muneeb Hussain, Umar Gul, Rayeea Rassol, Bashir Bhat and Basharat, all belonging from the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
They are accused of opposing the hanging of criminal mastermind Afzal Guru in an event organized inside the JNU Campus. This charge sheet is counted among the 10% Reservation Bill as one of the many political gimmicks employed by BJP to polarize voters in the wake of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Former Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju has called these charge sheets as illegal and commented: “The Delhi police has charge sheeted Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and others for shouting, or inciting a mob to shout, anti-India slogans in a function in JNU in 2016, But are these crimes? I am of the opinion that they are not, and they are protected by the freedom of speech guaranteed by Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution,”
Reputed Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai also observed that “Kanhaiya Kumar is charged with sedition after three years and just three months before general elections! A law which was enacted by the British to jail freedom fighters is now used by the Indian state as a political weapon to quash dissent”.
This charge sheet is not only a dark chapter in the history of free speech in India but is also a shameful blot on BJP government.