UP college students booked for Sedition for demanding union elections

Principal N D Pandey, accused them of chanting "indecent and anti-national slogans like Le ke rahenge azadi" 

sedition law

According to N D Pandey, the principal of government-run K S Saket Degree College in Ayodhya, chanting slogans of freedom is anti-national. He told The Indian Express, that as the Ramjanmabhoomi site is nearby, he had to look out for “such anti-national activities”. He stated that he couldn’t allow slogans “that are raised at Jawaharlal Nehru University” college premises on December 16.

Six persons, including students of government-run K S Saket Degree College in Ayodhya district, have been booked for sedition after the college principal lodged a complaint accusing them of raising “anti-national slogans calling (for) azadi”. Principal Pandey, told the media that “indecent and anti-national slogans like Le ke rahenge azadi” were raised on the college premises on December 16.

However, the students say they were only protesting against the non-conduct of union elections at the college, and their slogans were directed at the principal and the chief proctor. According to the IE report, an FIR was lodged against the six; Sumit Tewari, Shesh Narayan Pandey, Imran Hashmi, Satwik Pandey, Mohit Yadav and Manoj Mishra, on December 18. They were all booked under IPC Sections 124-A (sedition), 147 (rioting) and 506 (criminal intimidation), apart from charges of obstructing public servants. 

Inspector, Ayodhya Police Station, Ashutosh Mishra was quoted as saying, “everything will become clear during the probe. We will be scanning CCTV footage, videos. If an offence is made out, action will be taken accordingly.”

The principal’s complaint states, “The admission process and classes have been ongoing at the college since December 7. During this, some outsiders, anti-social elements and so-called leaders started a protest demanding student elections. On December 16, these students entered the college and locked the main gate and misbehaved with teachers, college administration and students. They interrupted classes… They were raising indecent and anti-national slogans like le kar rahenge azadi. Due to the incident, there is anger and fear among the students of the college.”

The IE report also quoted an  M.Com student Abhaas Krishna Yadav, who was elected student union president in 2018, as saying, “The protesting students were only saying that they want azadi from the principal and chief proctor. Now, the principal has used that and is saying they were raising anti-national slogans.” He added that, “Last year, the elections could not be held due to the Ram Mandir issue and no one raised their voice as it was a sensitive matter. This year, the students are protesting because the elections have been cancelled while polling is happening across the country. When classes can be held, then why can’t elections be held for the student union?”

Principal Pandey however, told The Indian Express, “Students had raised anti-national slogans that are raised at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi… that they will fight for azadi. What kind of azadi do they want? They wanted elections, we are still in the process of admissions. How can elections be held?” According to him the college is in a “sensitive place in Ayodhya, barely 500 metres from the Janmabhoomi. We need to look out for anti-national activities.”


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