By SM.06 Jan, 2020
NEW DELHI: A day after a masked mob, armed with iron rods, sledgehammers and stones went around Delhi"s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) attacking students and teachers, leaving at least 34 injured after three terrifying hours, Delhi Police has identified some of the masked assailants and a complaint has been filed. The university is tense after last night"s violence even as students in various cities showed solidarity with the JNU students and teachers through nightlong protests and vigils. Union Minister Amit Shah spoke to the Delhi police chief yesterday and has sought a report but the police are yet to make a single arrest. Shah also spoke to Anil Baijal, the Lieutenant Governor on Delhi this morning and asked him to get in touch with the university representatives. Students and faculty members of JNU allege that police personnel and private security guards on the campus remained "mute spectators" as the masked attackers went on the rampage. They have also been accused of letting the attackers slip out.
Here are the top 10 updates on JNU violence:
Delhi Police has clubbed several complaints it received after yesterday"s violence and filed a single FIR (First Information Report). "We are using the viral screen shots on social media and the CCTV footage to identify the attackers," senior police officer Devender Arya said.
The Secretary of the Human Resource Development ministry has called the Registrar, Proctor and Rector of JNU to his office today.
Eyewitnesses said the 50-odd goons entered the campus around 6.30 pm on Sunday. The students" union tweeted that the attackers were "unknown ABVP goons" and were even beating up professors trying to protect students. JNUSU vice-president Saket Moon said, "The police have been in the campus since afternoon, but they have done nothing". Others pointed to the delay in calling in the police and their failure to make any arrest.
The police carried out a flag march late at night inside the 1,000-acre campus to ensure there are no members of the mob remaining. "Delhi police, go back," angry voices from the crowd said, asking the police to leave.
Hundreds gathered outside the Delhi Police headquarters in central Delhi late Sunday night to protest against the violence. Many students left the campus with bags, saying they would return when it was safer.
The violence at the university, whose students have been actively supporting the agitations against the amended Citizenship Act, triggered a political furore with opposition parties hitting out at the government. "The fascists in control of our nation, are afraid of the voices of our brave students. Today"s violence in JNU is a reflection of that fear," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted. Party leader Randeep Surjewala termed it "state-sponsored terrorism".
Senior union ministers S Jaishankar and Nirmala Sitharaman, both alumni of JNU, too condemned the violence. Ms Sitharaman said the pictures of violence were horrifying and asserted that the government wants universities to be safe spaces for all students. "We condemn the violence at JNU. This needs to be investigated. The Congress, communists, the Aam Aadmi Party and some elements want to create an environment of violence in universities across the country," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said today.
Condemning the violence, the university administration said Sunday"s incident was linked to the agitation over a fee hike. Students opposing the hike wanted to disrupt the admissions process and there have been clashes and vandalism on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, students against registration process beat up those in favour of it before the police could reach, the registrar said in a statement.
Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar appealed to the students to maintain peace in the campus and stated that the top priority is to protect the academic interest of the students. "They need not fear about their process (of winter semester registration). The top priority of the University is to protect the academic interests of our students", he said in a statement. The senior warden of JNU"s Sabarmati hostel complex resigned today, submitting a letter, saying, "...we tried but can"t provide for security to hostel (sic)."
For more than two months, a standoff between the students and the administration is on over the hike in hostel fees. Students say the hike has increased their monthly expenses three-fold and the Left-affiliated students have been demanding a rollback. The JNU administration has justified the hike saying room rent has not been revised in 30 years and they are spending Rs 10 crore per year for payment towards electricity, water and service charges.