JNU's Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya Get Bail, Kanhaiya Kumar Order Helps

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Umar Khalid is accused of being one of the main organisers of the controvertial event in support of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Umar, Anirban are accused of organising event in support of Afzal Guru
  2. They were arrested on charges of sedition on February 23
  3. The two handled the crowd which raised anti-India slogans: Prosecutor
JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, arrested last month for their involvement in a controversial event in support of terrorist Afzal Guru, were granted bail by a court that observed that "both are highly educated persons". They were released from Tihar Jail this evening.

The students have been ordered not to leave Delhi without the court's permission.

"Both the present accused are highly educated persons. They have graduated from premier colleges of Delhi University and are currently pursuing a doctorate from JNU," the court said.

Citing bail granted to another student, Kanhaiya Kumar, by the Delhi High Court, the judge also noted: "Given the circumstance of no criminal record, they are not likely to abscond."

Kanhaiya Kumar, who was also arrested on charges of sedition over the same event held at JNU or the Jawaharlal Nehru University on February 9, was granted bail earlier this month.

Umar Khalid is accused of being one of the main organisers of the event to mark the anniversary of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, where anti-India slogans were raised.

He and Anirban surrendered on February 23.

The prosecution told the court that the two handled the crowd which raised the controversial slogans and 10 eyewitnesses had confirmed this. The two also sought permission from the university authorities for the event, finalised the posters and got them printed, the prosecution alleged.

Umar Khalid's lawyers argued that he is a doctorate student with only six months left in his dissertation.

The student arrests pitted JNU, one of India's most prestigious institutions, against the BJP-led government at the centre and fueled a politically charged debate on freedom of speech.

The university has also warned the students of action. Based on the report of an internal inquiry, the JNU administration has sent notice to 21 students asking them to explain charges of violating university rules.

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