Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury are among nine persons who have been booked on sedition charges in connection with the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) row, police said on Sunday.
An FIR has been registered against Rahul, Kejriwal, Yechury, Congress leaders Anand Sharma and Ajay Maken, CPI leader D Raja, JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi, JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and JNU research scholar Umar Khalid on the order of a court here, based on a complaint filed by lawyer Janardhan Goud.
“It is a court referred case related to JNU, Delhi. Based on the directive of the court, a case has been registered yesterday against nine persons, including Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Sitaram Yechury, JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and others on charges of sedition under Section 124(A) of IPC,” DCP, LB Nagar, Tafseer Iqubal, said.
“It may be forwarded to the concerned police station in Delhi. We are in the process of taking legal opinion with regard to the jurisdiction,” he said. The court has posted the matter for hearing on March 4.
In his petition, Goud said Rahul and other leaders, despite being aware that Delhi police had registered a case against Kanhaiya on charge of sedition had visited JNU campus and knowingly supported them and hence it “amounted to sedition.”
Kanhaiya and Khalid, who have earlier been arrested in Delhi on sedition charge, have also been booked here on the same charge.
Goud had filed a complaint in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate here on Thursday, seeking its direction to police for registration of a case against Kanhaiya and Khalid for allegedly raising anti-India and pro-Afzal Guru slogans on JNU campus and others.
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.”
In Delhi, Congress reacted sharply to the development, accusing BJP and allies of wanting to “suppress every voice that speaks against their repressive anti-Dalit and poor policies. From Rohit Vemula to Rahul Gandhi, everyone who raises an opinion against suppression of opinion by Modi government is branded as anti-national,” Randeep Surjewala, chief spokesperson of the party, said.
JD(U) leader K V Tyagi said the sedition charge reminded him of “pre-Emergency days.” He made it clear that the issue would be raised in Parliament. “The budget session is on. We will let the session function,” he said, adding Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be asked for the “definition of national and anti-national.”