Two senior ministers in the Modi government – both former students of Jawaharlal Nehru University – have condemned the violence on campus on Sunday evening.
The JNU students’ union has blamed the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad for the violence and claimed that members of the group had entered the university campus with rods and sticks. Video footage shows people wearing masks and armed with rods entering hostel buildings. The assault has left several teachers and students injured.
S Jaishankar, the Union minister of external affairs was first to react
This was followed up by the Union minister of finance, Nirmala Sitharaman. “Regardless of what has been said the past few weeks,” she said, the government “wants universities to be safe spaces for all students”.
Both Jaishankar and Sitharama are former students of JNU as well as cabinet ministers in the Modi government.
R. Subrahmanyam, a senior bureaucrat, also demanded action against the mob. Amitabh Kant, CEO of the Union government thinktank NITI Ayog, also condemned the violence.
Since all four tweets are careful to not name the perpetrators of the violence, there has been speculation over whether the statements show signs of discord in the Union government – or unity.
In the meanwhile, the Union ministry of home affairs, which reports to Amit Shah, has ordered an investigation into Sunday’s attack.