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JNU Students Union’s President, who urged release of Sharjeel Imam & Umar Khalid?

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A united Left comprising of AISF, DSF, SFI, AISA and BAPSA on Sunday defeated the ABVP in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students’ Union elections, winning all four central seats that went to polls — president, vice president, general secretary and joint secretary. Dhananjay, a PhD student from Bihar, has been elected as the president of JNUSU.

Who is Dhananjay?

– All India Students’ Association (AISA) member Dhananjay, a PhD student from the School of Arts and Aesthetics, is a native of Bihar’s Gaya.

– Dhananjay defeated ABVP’s Umesh Chandra Ajmeera by 922 votes for the presidential post.

– Dhananjay told PTI that the victory in JNUSU polls is a students’ referendum against the politics of hate and violence.

A video of Dhananjay seeking the release of Delhi riot accused Sharjeel Imam and Umar Khalid went viral on social media. Before the elections, in one of the campaigns, Dhananjay was heard saying, “Our companions have been put in jail. I am here to demand their release of Sharjeel Imam and Umar Khalid from this stage.”

For the unreversed, Sharjeel Imam was arrested in the case on January 28, 2020, for giving anti-India speeches at various places in Delhi, including at Delhi’s Jamia area and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), during the anti-CAA protests in 2019-2020. He had urged Muslims to cut off the Siliguri Corridor aka India’s chicken’s neck, which connects the seven northeastern states to the rest of Bharat. He also advocated for the secession of Assam from the Bharat.

On March 15, 2022, the court framed charges against him under sections 124A, 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, etc.), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (statement conducing public mischief) of the IPC and section 13 of UAPA.

Umar Khalid, a former JNU student and son of an ex-SIMI member was arrested for his role in the Delhi anti-Hindu riots that broke out on February 2020. He, along with others, was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA.

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