JNU row: students surrender, grilled for 5 hours

Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, accused of sedition, surrendered at midnight and were driven around for almost two hours by policemen who wanted to dodge the media.

The students' request to surrender at a secret location was rejected by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday.

At around 11.40 pm, the two drove to the JNU campus gates in a university security van. Scores of students formed a chain around Khalid and Bhattacharya as they left.

The police drove around for almost 10 km to avoid the media before taking the students to a police station less than a kilometre from the university. The students reached the police station after 2 am.

Sources say the students were questioned for five hours before being arrested.

"Umar and Anirban have faith in the judiciary," JNU Students Union vice president Shehla Rashid told NDTV.

The two students have been charged with sedition for allegedly organizing  an event on 9 February to mark the anniversary of the hanging of terrorist Afzal Guru, in which anti-India slogans were raised. They had been missing since 12 February, along with three other accused students. All five surfaced on campus on Sunday night.

 On Tuesday, Khalid and Bhattacharya went to the high court for permission to surrender at a secret location. They cited the attack on their comrade Kanhaiya Kumar by lawyers when he was being taken to court for a bail hearing last week.

The court, however, said: "You can't use your whim and fancy. You have to follow the procedure, surrender or arrest." (See: Delhi high court asks two JNU students to surrender).

For their safety, a magistrate may come to the police station so that they can be produced before him, the bench said.

Kanhaiya Kumar, the JNU student's union president, was arrested earlier this month over the controversial event. He is in Tihar Jail.

(Also see: JNU row: Kanhaiya's bail plea to be heard on 29 Feb)