Kanhaiya Kumar, the PhD scholar from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who was arrested on sedition charges earlier this year and later released, accused a co-passenger of attempting to strangulate him on a Jet Airways flight travelling to Pune on Sunday. The police registered an FIR for a non-cognisable offence against the co-passenger, identified as Manas Jyoti Deka.
The 29-year-old along with his travelling companion and Deka were offloaded from the plane at the Mumbai airport after a scuffle broke out between them. Kumar was supposed to reach Pune for an event on Sunday. His colleague and Deka filed an FIR later, the Hindustan Times reported. Security for Kumar was increased following multiple death threats against him. Recently, two people were arrested for issuing death threats to Kanhaiya Kumar and another JNU student who was accused of sedition after videos surfaced that showed the two raising anti-national slogans, Umar Khalid, NDTV reported.
"Yet again, this time inside the aircraft, a man tries to strangulate me. After the incident @jetairways staff completely refuses to take any action against the man who assaulted me. Basically @jetairways sees no difference between someone who assaults nd d person who is assaulted. They will deplane you, if you complain [sic]," Kumar tweeted on Sunday.
He also tweeted that Deka, a Tata Consultancy Service employee, was a staunch Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporter.
"My hand happened to brush his neck as I was trying to balance myself... I don't know him personally though I have seen his pictures. This is being done for cheap publicity," Deka was quoted as saying by HT.
Later, the airlines tweeted that it had deboarded some passengers for "operational safety."
"We asked him (Kanhaiya) to give a complaint but he did not. We also asked him (Kanhaiya) to do a medical test but he did not listen to us," Joint Commissioner of Police (law and order) Deven Bharti was quoted as saying by HT. The police have dismissed the accusations levelled by Kanhaiya and his colleague against Deka, saying that it was a scuffle about seats.
The Communist Party of India, however, were quoted as saying by ANI on Monday that they would raise the issue of serial attacks on JNU Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar in parliament.