I’m not a terrorist, says Umar Khalid after returning to JNU campus

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Five students, who were accused of chanting anti-India slogans at Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), returned back to campus on Sunday night.

The five students, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Ashutosh Kumar, Anant Prakash Narayan, Riyazul Haq and Rama Naga, had gone missing after they were named by police.

They returned to campus late on Sunday night and addressed other students holding a vigil.

Khalid told a gathering, “My name is indeed Umar Khalid but I’m not a terrorist. I have never projected myself as a Muslim while doing politics on campus. I always tried to see exploitation of Muslims along with the exploitation faced by Dalits, tribals and others.

“I would like to congratulate each one of you and those comrades who’s stood behind us in our fight. This fight was never for four-five of us. Today, this is everyone’s fight and the JNU’s fight. This fight is also to shape our society for the future.”

He said that he came to know about himself in the last 10 days that ‘I myself wasn’t aware of it.’

“I’m told that I’ve been to Pakistan twice even though I may not have a passport yet (laughter).”

Khalid’s speech was greeted by slogans like Lal Salaam and Red Salute to Comrades.

The protest on 9 February over the 2013 hanging of Kashmiri man Afzal Guru became controversial after reports emerged that some of the participants had chanted anti-India slogans.

Police arrested the JNU Students’ Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar and charged him with sedition. Media reports later conclusively proved that certain channels had doctored the video to indict Kanhaiya as his pro-Azaadi slogans were against poverty, hunger, feudalism and communalism.

Kanhaiya, who was later attacked by right-wing goons posing as lawyers inside the court premises, has now moved to the High Court for bail.

Khalid was first accused by certain TV channels of having links with Jaishe-e-Mohammad, a charge government later denied.

On Sunday, a Zee News journalist, who said he had worked on the controversial video of 9 February, revealed that his channel had deliberately run a dirty campaign against the Left-leaning students.

 

News agency PTI reported that soon after the news of the students return surfaced, police turned up at the JNU campus. They,however, need the permission of the JNU authorities to question and arrest the students.

 

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