The Delhi government on Friday sanctioned the prosecution of Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others in the 2016 JNU sedition case, triggering a backlash from human rights activists and supporters of the Congress. While the BJP took a potshot at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stating that the AAP supremo was forced to grant sanction to prosecute Kanhaiya ‘under public pressure’.
Former Amnesty India head Aakar Patel tweeted, “On the hard questions of right and wrong, even when there is no electoral stake, Kejriwal seems to choose wrong.”
The reaction to the Delhi government’s decision from the political rivals of Kejriwal was even terser. Sanjay Jha of the Congress tweeted, “The much heralded erstwhile liberal hero Mr #ArvindKejriwal has always been an in closet Sanghi. That’s why Aruna Roy left his movement.”
Here’s how social media users reacted;
— Dr Jwala Gurunath (@DrJwalaG) February 28, 2020
— it’s Jay (@JayUnmarked) February 28, 2020
Just back from a function of 40 odd people. So many said that by this one step Kejriwal has lost their support and respect forever.#KanhaiyaKumar
— atiya zaidi (@atiyaz) February 28, 2020
First Step towards Bihar Elections.
“Jhadu” is now clearing the way to form BJP government in Bihar.
So as promised both are working together.
— Faiz Khan (@Er_Khhaan) February 28, 2020
Reacting to the Delhi government’s decision, Kanhaiya said in a series of tweets, “Thank the Delhi government for granting sanction for prosecution in the sedition case. I request the Delhi Police and government lawyers to take this case seriously. The trial should take place in a fast-track court and, instead of TV’s ‘Aap Ki Adaalat,’ the justice should be ensured in a court of law. Truth always prevails.”
His subsequent tweet read that the fast-track trial was necessary to inform the people how the government was using the sedition case to divert their attention from real issues.
दिल्ली सरकार को सेडिशन केस की परमिशन देने के लिए धन्यवाद। दिल्ली पुलिस और सरकारी वक़ीलों से आग्रह है कि इस केस को अब गंभीरता से लिया जाए, फॉस्ट ट्रैक कोर्ट में स्पीडी ट्रायल हो और TV वाली ‘आपकी अदालत’ की जगह क़ानून की अदालत में न्याय सुनिश्चित किया जाए। सत्यमेव जयते।
— Kanhaiya Kumar (@kanhaiyakumar) February 28, 2020
Union Minister Prakash Javdekar said that Kejriwal had been forced to take the decision under public pressure. He said, “Under public pressure, finally the Delhi government was forced to give permission in the JNU case. For three years, Arvind Kejriwal kept postponing it but he was forced to bend in front of people.”
लोगो के दबाव के कारण आखिर दिल्ली सरकार @AamAadmiParty को #JNU मामले में मुकदमा चलाने की अनुमति देनी पड़ी। 3 साल दिल्ली के मुख्यमंत्री @ArvindKejriwal यह अनुमति टालते रहे लेकिन आखिर उन्हें जनता के आगे झुकना पड़ा। @BJP4India @AmitShah @JPNadda
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) February 28, 2020
According to PTI, the police on 14 January had filed a charge sheet against Kanhaiya and others, including former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.
The police, which reports to the Amit Shah-led home ministry, had said that the accused led a procession and had supported the seditious slogans allegedly raised on the JNU campus during an event on 9 February, 2016.
Ironically, Kejriwal had then supported Kanhaiya and other JNU students named in the sedition case.