Days after saying he would not oppose JNU student Kanhaiya Kumar's request for bail, Delhi Police chief BS Bassi has changed his mind. Explaining his volte face, he said today: "The circumstances have changed completely."
Ahead of a high court hearing tomorrow on Kanhaiya Kumar's request for bail, the police have defended his arrest for sedition and said they will oppose his bail, contradicting what their chief had said on February 17.
Confronting questions, Mr Bassi said Kanhaiya Kumar "did show some repentance" but then he changed his statement and made false allegations.
"If he is out on bail then we have reasonable apprehensions that he is bound to impact investigations and influence witnesses," the police chief said. "That is why we have opposed grant of bail to Kanhaiya and shall oppose it further too."
Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested earlier this month on sedition charges for his alleged role in an event on the JNU campus in support of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was executed in 2013.
Five other students accused of sedition, missing for days, returned to the campus on Sunday but they have not been arrested. "Our tactics are dynamic," said the police chief.
"There is no doubt that there is a very serious crime there, seditious speeches were given. If we feel they are unlikely to cooperate we shall not be shy of using them," he added.
The police have been asked by the high court for their report on the JNU controversy.
The police say in the report that Mr Kumar was seen in video footage along with a group shouting anti-national slogans. The report also cites the JNU's internal inquiry, which said Mr Kumar was seen shouting unconstitutional slogans.
The student has said in his bail petition that he was wrongly arrested on the basis of a police complaint that listed no evidence to book him under such a serious charge.