Kanhaiya freed from Tihar, returns to JNU

New Delhi: JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested for sedition 20 days ago, was released from the Tihar Jail here on Thursday evening and returned to the university campus amid noisy celebrations by hundreds of students and teachers.

As the sprawling Jawaharlal Nehru University campus was enveloped in darkness after street lights mysteriously went off before Kanhaiya Kuamr’s return, slogan-shouting students massed in the open holding flaming torches and carrying placards and posters hailing the student leader.

“We are all relaxed that Kanhaiya is back but the fight is far from over,” PhD student Priyanka Das told IANS, summing up the general mood in the student community.

“We will maintain the solidarity till Anirban (Bhattacharya) and Umar (Khalid) are back and safe,” she added, referring to the two other student activists who too are in jail on sedition charges.

Das, who is with the Centre for English Studies, said the JNU community “must not give up until students are safe inside and outside the campus”.

Added another student, Monika Gupta: “Kanhaiya’s release is an happy hour for all the students.”

JNU Assistant Professor Rohit Azad told IANS: “As you can see, the JNU community has gathered here in full support. It is a relief that Kanhaiya is back.”

The February 12 arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, the first president of the JNU Students Union from the CPI-affiliated AISF, was widely denounced, more so after he was beaten up in a Delhi court on two days by some lawyers.

Delhi Police kept claiming that they had irrefutable evidence that Kanhaiya Kumar had raised anti-national slogans but failed to come up with the evidence in the court, weakening their case.