JNU row: Hostel wardens of Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya asked by Delhi Police to hand over duo’s laptops

JNU row: Hostel wardens of Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya asked by Delhi Police to hand over duo’s laptops

Delhi: Delhi Police has sought the laptops of JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, both facing sedition charge, from their hostel wardens.

The have sent a notice regarding the same.

The case was transferred to Delhi Police’s Special Cell a few days before BS Bassi retired as the force’s chief.

“The notice was sent to the wardens through an official channel yesterday and we have asked for the laptops of Umar and Anirban, which can provide vital leads in the investigation,” a senior official said.

“By investigation so far, it has emerged that Umar and Anirban were involved in getting the posters of the event printed and circulating them. The laptops can provide evidence with regard to that,” the senior official added.

On February 12, Delhi Police had arrested JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar in connection with a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy registered over an event in which anti-national slogans were raised.

The police then started conducting search operation for Khalid and Bhattacharya, who could not be spotted in the campus after an FIR was registered and re-surfaced there around 10 days later.

They later surrendered and were questioned by the police for days before a court sent them to judicial custody.

The police identified them as the main organisers of the February 9 event, which was held to commemorate the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Meanwhile, Kanhaiya was released from jail on a conditional bail.

While Khalid, pursuing his PhD, is accommodated at Tapti Hostel in JNU campus, Bhattacharya has his room in Brahmaputra Hostel.

On the other hand, in a related development, a high-level committee of JNU has recommended rustication of Kanhaiya, Umar, Anirban and two other students.

Sources, however, said a decision on the recommendation by the panel will be taken by Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar and Chief Proctor A Dimri after a thorough scrutiny of the suggestions.

A meeting of the university’s top brass chaired by the Vice Chancellor on Monday discussed the report following which the varsity issued show-cause notice to 21 students including Kanhaiya and Umar, who were found guilty of having violated university rules and discipline norms.

The committee was formed on February 10.

“The high-level committee has recommended rustication of five students after its investigation over a month’s time. However, the final call in this regard will be taken by the Vice Chancellor and Proctor’s office,” sources told PTI.

The university had on March 11 revoked the academic suspension of eight students including Kanhaiya after completion of the probe by the five-member panel.

It was decided to keep them under suspension from academic activities till the inquiry was over.

However, they were allowed to stay in the hostels.