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Let court decide if my son is seditionist: Umar's father

Let court decide if my son is seditionist: Umars father

New Delhi: Father of Umar Khalid, one of the ten JNU students accused of shouting "anti-national" slogans on the campus, Friday said it is for the judiciary to decide whether he was involved in the case and demanded that he be spared a "media trial".

Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas said his son was fighting for the cause of tribals and poor farmers and that he has always stood with them.

"If they were seditionist, it should be decided by the court. There should not be a media trial. He was fighting for adivasis and poor farmers. Most of his time was spent in JNU or Jantar Mantar. He used to reach wherever there was crisis," he said.

Police is looking for Khalid, who is accused of shouting anti-India slogans during an event on February 9 at the campus against the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Ilyas criticised the arrest of JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition as well as the "atmosphere that is being created against Khalid and his friends".

JNU has been an educational centre where such things have been happened in the past as well, he said, adding that the varsity accommodates people of different ideologies and provides platform for their voices.

"The beauty of JNU is that it accommodates (people of different ideologies) and gives a platform to raise their voice," he said.

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