Several newspapers have reported that Delhi police has been calling or visiting the homes of journalists who have reported on the police crackdown at Jawaharlal Nehru University. TheIndian Express reported that nearly 50 people including journalists and professors have been questioned in the last 10 days.
Rajendra Singh of the Delhi police’s Special Task Force, who is leading the investigation in the JNU case, defended the police action. He said that the police had obtained “contacts lists of Umar and other wanted persons”. Those on the lists had been “approached to find out under what circumstances they have contacted the students”.
“We did not segregate journalists from other persons,” he added. “If he is reporter, and doing his duty, that is alright. If there is something more, then we have to question.”
He added: “After lookout notice has been issued, if you are contacting that person, it is our duty to check.”
Fair enough. Umar Khalid is accused of anti-national activities, there is a lookout notice for him, the police must explore all possible leads…
At the time of writing this, though, Umar Khalid’s whereabouts — the campus of JNU — is a matter of public knowledge. Has been, for 24 hours now and counting. How come — since the person concerned is so desperately wanted by the police — no cop has shown any inclination to arrest him?
Update: Apparently the police are waiting on the VC’s permission. Fair enough. The WTF element here? This:
Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi has said if the students are innocent, they should assist the police’s ongoing investigation and provide proof of their innocence.
I thought jurisprudence works the other way — the police file charges and prove your guilt? Apparently not — in the Alice in Blunderland world of Bassi, the burden of proof is on the citizen. And this, from a police commissioner who from day one has been insisting he has all the proof he needs.