A mob, some dressed as attorneys, stormed a New Delhi court and beat an Indian student accused of having shouted anti-Indian government slogans at a rally, while waving Indian flags and shouting, “Glory to Mother India.”
Kanhaiya Kumar, head of the student union at Jawaharlal Nehru University, stated lawyers attacked him as they chanted nationalist slogans.
“A person has come dressed as a lawyer and beaten him up inside the court premises today. The police couldn’t do anything, it’s a complete violation of the supreme court order,” explained defense lawyer Vrinda Grover.
The lawyers then turned on the reporters and protesters. Media reported one lawyer “grabbed the camera strap of an Associated Press photographer, bruising his hand and breaking his lens.” They also waved Indian flags while chanting, “Glory to Mother India” and “Traitors, leave India.”
The BBC reported men threw bricks at reporters, as well. They attacked Tarique Anwar from Firstpost before authorities brought Kumar to court. Anwar attempted to take a picture of the lawyers while they attacked a Kumar supporter.
“They deleted the picture and dragged me inside a court room where they beat me up,” he told the BBC.
Anwar also said the police did “nothing to help him.”
The Star reported the police have not arrested any suspects “despite several newspapers naming the lawyers and publishing their photographs prominently.”
Authorities arrested Kumar on February after he allegedly shouted anti-Indian remarks at a rally “to commemorate the anniversary of the execution of a Kashmiri separatist over his role in an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001.”
A student group with links to the Hindu ruling party Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) complained to the police.
Member of Parliament Shatrughan Sinha showed support for Kumar after he viewed the transcript of the speech.
“Have heard transcript of speech of Kanhaiya, our Bihar boy president of JNUSU. He has said nothing anti national or against constitution. Hope wish and pray that he’s release soon, sooner the better,” he said on social media.
Delhi Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi insists the authorities have concrete evidence against Kumar.
“I have evidence to justify Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest. During the interrogation, he admitted to having made the speech. We will soon find and arrest the others involved,” he told India Today.
The British established the sedition law in 1870 as a way “to hit back at anti-colonial movement.” The government tried Mahatma Gandhi under the law.