Delhi gov’t paves way for prosecution of Kanhaiya Kumar for sedition

Conspiracy theories abound as many feel the youth leader was thrown under the bus for political gains

Kanhaiya Kumar

On Friday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government cleared the path for the prosecution of youth leader Kanhaiya Singh for sedition. The sudden move by the Delhi government has led to a flurry of speculation as to the motive behind suddenly throwing Kanhaiya under the bus despite their carefully cultivated image as a party of the people.

AAP MLA and spokesperson in a statement on the subject said, “The Delhi government, as a matter of policy and as a matter of principle, does not and has not intervened in any of such cases. Our government has not stopped prosecution in any case, whatsoever, in the last five years.” He also dubbed it a purely procedural matter. This is significant because AAP had refused this permission last September. Moreover, in December the Delhi High court refused to give the Delhi government directions to give sanction for prosecution.

Hours after the Delhi Government granted sanction for his trial, Kanhaiya Kumar questioned the timing of the move and alleged that this was being done with an eye on Bihar elections that are due later this year, “According to law the chargesheet should be filed within 90 days. They took years and timed the filing of the chargesheet with the Lok Sabha elections. Now, Vidhan Sabha elections are coming up and they have sanctioned a trial.” However, Kumar did not blame Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “The Delhi Police reports to Amit Shah. Now I urge that a speedy trial be conducted in a fast track court, so that the truth can come out quickly,” he said.

Kanhaiya further made a series of tweets:


The case deals with alleged seditious slogans raised on February 9, 2016 at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) during a protest to condemn the hanging of Afzal Guru. The other youth leaders accused in the case were Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya.

Khalid and Bhattacharya tweeted their joint statement:


The Delhi government’s move granting saction for prosecution has drawn condemnation from all secular and liberal quarters. Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted:


Filmmaker Onir pulled no punches as he tweeted:


Talk show host and former Bollywood diva Simi Garewal also appeared disheartened by the move as she tweeted:



Meanwhile, it is also curious that the move comes close at the heels of stones, acid pouches and petrol bombs being recovered from the terrace of a property owned by AAP leader Tahir Hussain. While Hussain maintains that he had been forced to flea the location fearing for his life well before the discovery and that he is being framed, it cannot be denied that this has generated negative publicity for AAP. This is a highly politically charged atmosphere where AAP is already facing flak for not being seen on the ground during the initial days comforting victims of violence or making any statement condemning the attack or appealing for peace until much later.


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