The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union on Saturday slammed the Arvind Kejriwal government for giving sanction to prosecute Kanhaiya Kumar, the former president of the students’ body, and nine others in connection with a four-year-old sedition case.

The sanction was granted by the Delhi government on February 20. It refuted the BJP’s allegation of blocking the proceedings in the matter, saying the Delhi government “as a matter of policy and as a matter of principle, does not and has not intervened in any of such cases”.

In a tweet, the JNUSU said, “The JNUSU condemns AAP. To sell out for short-term political gains is extremely shameful. Politics of cowardice does not last. We will be here long after this mass hysteria, justifying bigotry, that is being fuelled by shrewd politicians for electoral gains, ends.”

The Delhi Police had last year filed a charge sheet at a city court against Kanhaiya Kumar and others, including saying he was leading a procession and supported seditious slogans at an event in February 2016.

It also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya with allegedly raising anti-India slogans during the event to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru.

The prosecution sanction was granted nearly a year after a city court asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to take a decision within a reasonable time-frame and noted that the delay was leading to violation of the due process of law.

The left-backed All India Students’ Association (AISA) termed the sanction “unfortunate and condemnable”, and alleged the sedition charges were based on “pure political motives”.

Music composer Vishal Dadlani, who has been a supporter of the AAP, was also not happy with the development.

“AAP started out as people criticising a government that was wrong. Most AAP supporters are still those people, and still do exactly the same. Some of us, at great risk. We also despise the political tradition of trading right and wrong for votes/image/gain. This is plain wrong,” he tweeted.

Kanhaiya Kumar has, however, welcomed the decision and has wished for a speedy trial to show “how sedition is used for political gains”.