Indian police arrest 2 students in sedition case

Two Indian university students were arrested after protesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party’s intolerance policy

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Activists from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), shout slogans during a protest march in New Delhi, India, February 24, 2016.

Two Indian university students were arrested on Wednesday and face sedition charges over allegedly both shouting slogans that were against India's government and for attending separatist movements against parliament.

After avoiding arrest for more than a week, the two came out of Jawaharlal Nehru University campus late Tuesday, while some students formed a chain around them, and gave themselves up to the police.

Rajan Bhagat, New Delhi police spokesman, said the two were questioned and arrested on Wednesday. The suspects deny the charges.

Kanhaiya Kumar, 28-year-old leader of the student union at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), was arrested over his role in a protest last week that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's backers have branded as "anti-national".

Police are still looking for 3 other students who are thought to be in hiding.

Hundreds of professors, journalists and students from two prestigious universities in New Delhi stepped out of Parliament on Tuesday, urging for Kumar’s release, who was kicked and punched over his participation in events where anti-India slogans were allegedly shouted. Upon this, he was taken into custody for two weeks.

Opposition politicians raised the issue in Parliament on Wednesday, and Mayawati, leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party, a party of lowest castes, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government and his Bharatiya Janata Party of suppressing freedom of expression and fanning communal tensions. Mayawati uses on name.

TRTWorld and agencies