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Wednesday 29 January 2020

JNU vandalised; activists get another field day

Thirty-four students injured in an attack on Sunday were treated at AIIMS and discharged even as politicians fell over one another to issue statements on the incident

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration has sent a detailed report to the Union Human Resource Development Ministry on the incident of vandalism on the campus on Sunday amid differences between two sections of students over the process of registration. The whole sequence of events of Sunday has been included in this report.

JNU in Delhi is once again making news for its activism after some masked attackers attacked students with sticks and rods on the campus. A total of 34 students, including the JNUSU president, have been injured in the attack. They were treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and discharged.

It may be noted that the entry of the reported 50 odd miscreants into the university premises last night is intriguing as the entry of only one person or vehicle at a time is allowed at the entrance gate after visitor names one of the hostels and a boarding student inside whom he or she intends to visit.

If the sources of Delhi Police are to be believed, the assailants were outsiders, who had covered their faces to avoid recognition. In some videos that have surfaced, women are seen standing with sticks and iron rods in their hands.

The attackers targeted hostels, students as well as faculty, along with considerable property damage. The police entered the campus to control the violence and carried out a flag march.

In addition to the students of JNU, students in many universities and campuses of the country are demonstrating against what they believe is police inaction in the face of vandals ransacking the otherwise secured campus. People held demonstrations at the Gateway of India in Mumbai late in the night. Film actor Sushant Singh reached the spot and shared some time with the protesters. Several other cities are expected to witness large-scale demonstrations against the Sunday incident in JNU.

A former member of a communist union in JNU has commented beneath Sirf News’ Facebook post carrying this report where all they have planned demonstrations today.

According to Amitayu Ayu Sengupta, a former SFI activist from JNU, protests are planned in different cities of the country at the following timings.

  1. Bhopal: Board office, Bhopal at 4 PM
  2. Bengaluru: Town Hall at 10 AM
  3. Jaipur: Gandhi circle at 4 PM
  4. Delhi: March from Sabarmati to North Gate. Assemble at Sabarmati Dhaba at 12:30 PM
  5. Patna: Darbhanga House, Patna University, Muradpur Road at 1 PM
  6. Ranchi: Firayalal Chowk at 5 PM
  7. Raipur: Ambedkar statue, near Ghadi Chowk at 5 PM
  8. Guwahati: Near Nehru Park at 4 PM
  9. Jorhat: Near Jorhat Distt Court at 3 PM
  10. Mumbai: Gateway of India, opp Taj, Hutatma Chowk Fountain at 4 PM
  11. Punjab: Students Centre, Punjab University at 1 PM
  12. Kochi: Vanchi square, 5 PM
  13. Chennai: Marina Beach, 7 PM
  14. Kolkata: Jadavpur University Playground at 2 PM; College Square at 5 PM
  15. Ahmedabad: Footpath in front of IIMA residence gate at 5:30 PM

Government action amid opposition’s criticism

The central government has taken note of the ruckus. The MHRD has summoned the registrar, proctor and rector of the university to explain how the vandalism of last night could be possible.

The opposition has expectedly attacked the central government, with BSP chief Mayawati condemning the incident by tweeting on Monday morning. She demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident. Digvijaya Singh of the INC blamed the ABVP for this incident. Since the morning, communist leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja have visited the campus while socialist activist Yogendra Yadav was not allowed through the gate of the JNU. A meeting was held on JNU violence at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house. Ministers of the Delhi government, MLAs and other leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party attended the meeting.

BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted that some opposition-backed people are spoiling the campus environment of the country.

Union Minister Smriti Irani said that investigation has started in this case and it would not be proper to speak on the issue at this juncture. “But universities should not become the hub of politics,” she said.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar condemned the violence in JNU and asked fora thorough investigation into the incident. “The Congress, Communist, AAP and other opposition parties are creating a situation of violence in many universities of the country,” he said.

Police action

There have been three complaints with the police regarding the violence in JNU. Delhi Police says it has received many complaints related to the JNU violence on which it will start an investigation. It has registered one FIR in the JNU violence case. The case has been filed under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984, and sections dealing with riots. The investigators, led by CP Shalini Singh of Delhi Police, will include two ACPs and four inspectors of the Crime Branch.

Delhi Police has started the investigation of JNU violence. The DCP of Delhi Police visited the university campus while the main gate was closed for outsiders.

Delhi Police DCP Devendra Arya says that an FIR has been lodged at the Vasant Kunj police station. He said all the videos of the incident that had surfaced on social media were being investigated. “The attackers will be identified soon,” he said.

According to police sources, some vandals seen in the videos of the incident have been identified and efforts are afoot to arrest them soon.

JNU Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar has appealed to the students for peace. “The university will give all students opportunities to study. We assure the students that registration will not stop. Students need not fear in any way,” he said.

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