New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy for holding an anti-national event inside the university premises, has been sent to three-day police custody by a Delhi court.
Kanhaiya, who was picked up by the Delhi Police from the JNU campus earlier today, was produced before metropolitan magistrate Lovleen where the police sought his custodial interrogation for five days to ascertain the alleged links of the accused persons, including those who are allegedly on the run, with terrorist groups.
The police told the court that Kanhaiya was also required to be interrogated for the purpose of identification of other accused who were seen shouting "anti-national" slogans during the event organised in JNU campus on February 9.
The police also placed on record a CD of the event which the judge played inside the court room on a computer.
On his part, Kanhaiya told the court that he was neither shouting any slogan nor saying anything against integrity of the country and said he had rushed to the spot only to prevent a clash between ABVP workers and students organising the event.
He claimed in the court that this was a politically-motivated case and he was being framed by the police as he had defeated the ABVP candidate in the presidential elections of the JNU students' union.He told the court that he did not endorse the slogans against India in any manner and has full faith in the Constitution of the country.
"I dissociate myself from the slogans which were shouted in the event. I have full faith in the Constitution of the country and I always say that Kashmir is an integral part of India," Kanhaiya told the court.
After the CD was played inside the court room, the judge asked Kanhaiya about the identity of the persons who were seen shouting slogans in favour of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru and Pakistan. Responding to the court's query, the accused said he did not know all of them as they were outsiders but he can identify all the students who are from JNU.
The court, after hearing the submissions, remanded him to police custody till February 15.
Kanhaiya's arrest followed a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy registered by the police on Thursday after anti-India slogans were raised at an event to protest the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in 2014. Police said that Kanhaiya was seen in a purported video of people raising anti-national slogans.
The case was registered following complaints by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Maheish Girri and RSS's student front Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad.
The move to arrest the student leader came hours after Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government would not tolerate any anti-national activity in the country and that stringent action would be taken against the demonstrators who raised 'anti-national' slogans at the JNU campus.
The ABVP also staged protests at the campus, demanding that all students who 'misled' the university about the nature of the events must be expelled.
Marking the death anniversary of Guru, a group of students on Tuesday held an event at the university campus and shouted slogans against the government for hanging him. The event was held despite the varsity administration having cancelled the grant of permission for the programme.
Meanwhile, the university has also set up a proctorial committee, headed by Professor Kishan Kumar, to inquire into an event organised by some former members of the Democratic Students' Union (DSU) that led to violent clashes on the campus.
JNU Students Union joint secretary Saurabh Sharma of the ABVP demanded an inquiry against all the 10 students who had organised the event and said that it was the responsibility of the university administration to ensure that such incidents do not happen in the campus again. If the university fails to take action within a week, then 'a campus strike will be carried out', he said.
(WIth PTI inputs)