Police say 40% of masked goons who attacked JNU identified

Delhi Police has submitted its report, based results from a facial recognition software used to trace missing persons, to the government

Delhi Police has said that 40% of the masked assaults on students and teachers in JNU have been matched with identifiable suspects. The police on Wednesday submitted its report to the government, which is based on a facial recognition software, which was used to identify the perpetrators of the Sunday violence.

Police officials said that the identification matches had been handed over to the special task force formed to probe the violence in JNU. The recently acquired facial recognition systems are primarily used to track and trace missing children and unknown carcasses.

A senior government official, on the condition of anonymity, said that the police indicated that they would crack the case soon. On 5 January during a meeting between students and teachers, masked men armed with sticks, poles and hammers entered the JNU campus and beat up people badly. They also vandalised student hostels.

This was reportedly aftermath of differences between leftist and rightist students in JNU, which aggravated when some leftist unions vandalised the systems for student registration. The Periyar Hostel was attacked thereafter in the evening while the Sabarmati Hostel was targeted before the next dawn.

More than 30 students were injured in this incident. The injured included JNU Students Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh (from SFI) and ABVP students. A large section of the media, however, did not report that the goons attacked members of the student wing of the RSS too.

Delhi Police recognise 40% of goons who attacked JNU
Some of the ABVP students injured during the assault

Apart from the use of technology, Delhi Police is relying on complaints from students. Another senior official said that the police had received around 40 complaints from students, many of whom have identified those involved in the violence.

Aishe Ghosh has filed a complaint stating that when her mates Nikhil, Anjana Basith and she were being taken to the hospital, the ambulance was not allowed to exit the northern gate of the JNU campus, which was bolted. Among those present were 30-40 policemen including SHO Ritu Raj of Vasant Kunj North police station. Ghosh has alleged that many goons and individuals are associated with ABVP, out of whom she has identified Omkar Srivastava.

On the other hand, ABVP’s Manish Jangid alleged it was JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and others who led the attack. “I was beaten by the mob led by Satish Chandra of AISA,” he said.

The act of violence was widely condemned throughout the country. Students, civil society members and actors supported their ’cause’ and participated in protests against the violence.

Delhi Police came under criticism for allowing the vandals in JNU to enter the campus while keeping the cops outside the entrance whereas the same force was criticised for entering the Jamia Millia Islamia campus in December 2019 during the protests against the amended citizenship law or CAA.

The government set up a high-level investigation team after the JNU incident.