The JNU sedition episode has undoubtedly been one of the most shameful incidents in India since independence. In what shook the conscience of the entire nation, a set of students who like to call themselves “intellectuals” were spotted shouting anti-national slogans promoting the breaking apart of the nation and glorifying a terrorist who was involved in a dastardly attack on the Parliament of India. Three years have elapsed since that shameful event and finally, a charge sheet has been filed in connection with the said episode. While it is a matter of great relief, some of the usual suspects have started questioning this move over its timing.
The JNUSU went on to claim that the charge sheet filed against Kanhaiya Kumar and other accused years after the incident is a “clear case of vendetta”. The union said in an official statement, “we see this submission of the charge sheet after a hiatus of three years, as a clear case of vendetta and well-planned instruction from the Prime Minister’s office to whip up a frenzy and browbeat those who have emerged as critical voices to the Prime Minister and exposed the BJP government’s utter failure in running this country just before the Lok Sabha elections due to take place this year.” Kanhaiya Kumar, one of the main accused in the sedition case took to Twitter in an attempt to blame the government. In what goes on to show that Kanhaiya is a pure left-liberal politician in making, he said in his tweet that people had asked Modiji for Rs. 15 lakh, employment and acche din. But acche din did not come for the country, however, at least a chargesheet came for us just before elections. This lame, bizarre and supposedly sarcastic tweet seems like a desperate attempt by Kanhaiya Kumar to divert public attention from the fact that he has been booked for sedition. This seems like a naive attempt at avoiding public anger.
Even the former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister and PDP chief, Mehbooba Mufti, came out in support of those booked for the sedition case. She likened the section case against Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and eight other Kashmiri students from JNU with the hanging of Afzal Guru in 2013. She said, “just like the Congress hanged Afzal Guru ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections hoping for political gains, the BJP is repeating the same ahead of the 2019 general elections.” Everyone who feels the way Mehbooba Mufti does that if booking these anti-national elements masquerading as intellectuals are similar to hanging Afzal Guru, then the Modi government could not have achieved anything bigger than this and it deserves to be applauded for taking on such anti-national elements with full vigour.
As far as the question of timing is concerned and the allegation that the chargesheet has been filed at a time when the 2019 polls are around the corner, it must be borne in mind that this case involved an intricate process of investigation. The police said that information had to be collected covertly, multiple visits had to be made to Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh in order to track down others involved besides Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who are the three main accused in this case and many sessions of questioning were required which why it took almost three years for submitting the chargesheet. A senior officer from the Delhi Police’s Special Cell said, “We formed a team of young police officers who posed as students and spent time in the campus. They also used to go in groups at events in the campus and eavesdrop on conversations related to the protests. It helped us in tracing links related to the seven suspects.” All this goes on to show that this was not one of the simpler cases. Given the high profile character of the case and the circumstances involved, the police had to ensure that it found sufficient evidence for which it often had to find innovative ways and this is the reason why it took three years to submit the chargesheet. Once the investigation was complete, the police could not and should not have delayed filing the chargesheet beyond the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in order to suit the convenience of those whose political interests might have been at stake.