The Delhi Police set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the violence that erupted at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday evening. The police denied it took time to respond to the attack on students and teachers by a masked mob.
Hours earlier, JNU Students’ Union President Aishe Ghosh alleged that professors affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh promoted violence on the campus in the days leading up to Sunday’s attack. She accused university security guards of not intervening to stop the violence unleashed by a mob of masked attackers.
Meanwhile, protests broke out in several parts of India late on Sunday night condemning the violence. Political parties, too, condemned the violence. Most Opposition leaders held the government responsible for the attack on students. The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, said the violence was “a desperate attempt by forces of anarchy, who are determined to use students as cannon fodder.”
Here are the important updates:
10 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says the attack in JNU was a “fascist surgical strike” by the BJP, PTI reports.
“Whatever is happening across the country is very disturbing... I, too, was involved in student politics at one point in time, but never have I witnessed this sort of an attack on students and educational institutions,” she says. “It was a planned attack on democracy. Yesterday’s was a fascist surgical strike on the student community.”
9.57 pm: The Kolkata Police says it is trying to maintain peace in the city. “Kolkata Police is making all efforts to cooperate with students & law abiding citizens to maintain peace,” the force tweets. “Senior Officers are in the Jadavpur area to help you. In case of any assistance or complaints please contact us immediately. Kolkata police is with you, now and always.”
9.54 pm: Members of ABVP hold protest at Hutatma Chowk in Mumbai, ANI reports.
9.49 pm: Directors Anurag Kashyap, Anubhav Sinha, and Zoya Akhtar, and actors Taapsee Pannu, Dia Mirza and Rahul Bose have joined the protests at Carter Road, ANI reports.
9.40 pm: People hold placards at Carter Road in Mumbai while protesting against the violence at the JNU campus:
9.26 pm: “While we were chasing BJP workers some Jadavpur University students entered the mob,” says Deputy Commissioner of Police Sudip Sarkar, ANI reports. “We could not differentiate the JU students from BJP workers who were burning tyres. We did not lathicharge JU students.”
9.20 pm: Here are some photos of protests at Gateway of India and Carter Road in Mumbai:
8.54 pm: Over 100 people, including college students, activists and citizens, have held a peaceful protest outside the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, PTI reports. Four Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad have been detained from the protest site, according to police inspector HM Vyas.
8.50 pm: Jadavpur University students and BJP activists have come face-to-face at Sulekha Mor in Kolkata, and a clash has taken place, PTI reports. Police have put up barricades and blocked both the rallies, however expletives and slogans have been used by both sides. Students Federation of India protestors have burnt the BJP flag.
8.45 pm: A students’ protest is underway at Mumbai’s Gateway of India against the violence at JNU, ANI reports.
8.35 pm: Students in Chennai march in solidarity with Jawaharlal Nehru University, reports ANI.
8.10 pm: The police in Kolkata beat up BJP activists before assaulting Jadavpur University students, reports ABP Ananda.
8.07 pm: The police have beaten Jadavpur University students with batons near Sulekha Mor during a protest against JNU violence, reports ANI.
7.46 pm: Delhi Police claim the situation at JNU is under control. “Police deployment to continue till situation normalises,” ANI quotes Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Devender Arya as saying. “No violence reported today from both inside and outside the campus.”
7.43 pm: At an event in Delhi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar again responds to last night’s violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University. “I can certainly tell you, when I studied in Jawaharlal Nehru University, we didn’t see any ‘tukde tukde’ gang there,” ANI quotes him as saying.
7.38 pm: Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal says educational institutions cannot be allowed to become “political adda”. “Strong action will be initiated against people involved in such an attack,” The Indian Express quotes him as saying.
7.05 pm: Malayalam actor and producer Nivin Pauly condemns the violence in a Facebook post. “What happened in #JNU last night was horrifying and frightening,” he says. “This is brutality at its worst! Those attackers behind this violence against students and teachers must be punished. It’s time we stand united against hate and violence.”
7 pm: In Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, protestors have chanted “azaadi” and “halla bol” against the violence in JNU, The Indian Express reports.
6.48 pm: “We have responded to PCR calls, and law and order situation professionally,” PTI quotes Delhi Police as saying on allegations that they reached JNU late.
6.47 pm: An FIR has been filed and an investigation is underway, Randhawa says. “Footage is being collected,” he says. “Total 34 persons were injured and all 34 have been discharged from AIIMS Trauma Centre.”
6.45 pm: Delhi Police public relations officer MS Randhawa says a fact-finding committee has been formed under the Joint Commissioner of Police, ANI reports. “We have found some vital clues and we are trying that the case is solved soon,” he says.
Randhawa says: “Normally, police deployment is only in the administration block, and the scuffle took place away from that area. Around 7.45 pm, we were requested by JNU administration, then we entered the university and carried out a flag march.”
6.43 pm: Indian Youth Congress workers organise a procession to protest against the violence on the JNU campus, PTI reports. “Such an attack on a prestigious institute like JNU in the national capital raises big question mark on the credibility of Delhi Police and Home Ministry,” the outfit says.
6.39 pm: The JD(U) has also sought a free and fair enquiry by a Supreme Court judge into the violence at JNU, reports PTI. “For a fair trial, the VC and other top administrators must be removed from their respective posts,” says KC Tyagi.
6.36 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party ally JD(U) has sought the removal of the vice chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, reports PTI.
“We strongly condemn the attitude of the university’s vice-chancellor and other authorities who became silent spectators of the dirty game of these goons,” says senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi. “Police officials too failed in performing their duties.”
6.21 pm: The Democratic Youth Federation of India and the Tripura Youth Federation are out on the streets of Agartala in protest against the policies of the Narendra Modi government, and the assault on students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University, reports The Indian Express.
6.18 pm: JNU student leader Aishe Ghosh’s father has said that the situation in India is so volatile that even he can get beaten up one day, while her mother has called for the resignation of JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadeesh Kumar, reports News 18.
“There are so many boys and girls with her in this movement,” says the student leader’s mother. “They are all injured, some more, some less. I will never ask her to back out of the protests.”
6.02 pm: Aishe Ghosh says JNU’s culture will not be eroded by such attacks. “Every iron rod used against the students will be given back by debate and discussion,” she tells reporters. “JNU will uphold its democratic culture.”
5.56 pm: JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh claims she was singled out and attacked with an iron rod. She suffered a deep cut on her head. “It was an organised attack,” News18 quotes her assaying. “They were singling out people and attacking. There is a clear nexus of JNU security and vandals. They did not intervene to stop violence.”
5.50 pm: JNU Students’ Union President Aishe Ghosh blames activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its student affiliate ABVP for Sunday evening’s violence on the campus. “Since past four to five days, violence was being promoted in the campus by some RSS affiliated professors and ABVP,” ANI quotes her as saying. Ghosh was injured in Sunday’s violence.
5.48 pm: Hundreds of Aligarh Muslim University students held a rally on the campus after a “Tiranga March” from Purani Changi to Babey Sir Syed Gate to protest against the violence at JNU, reports News18. They handed over a memorandum addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind to the district authorities.
5.02 pm: Former JNU Chancellor and Congress leader Karan Singh alleges that Vice Chancellor M Jagadeesh Kumar has been “absent” at this crucial juncture and has been “completely ineffective”, PTI reports.
Singh urges the Home Ministry to get the matter impartially investigated. “As a former Chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, I have been shocked beyond belief at the violent and condemnable incidents that took place yesterday,” Singh says.
4.52 pm: Students of Jadavpur University protest against the violence on JNU campus, ANI reports.
4.50 pm: Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal issues summons to the JNU registrar in connection with the assault on female students inside the campus.
4.28 pm: The Left are now “getting back” its own gift of violence in educational institutes, says BJP’s West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh, reports Ei Samay. “You will witness violence in educational institutes only in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura where Left is either in power or were in power till a few years back,” he adds. “Now, the Left students’ groups are getting it back as scores are being settled.”
4.24 pm: Trinamool Congress leaders outside the main gate of JNU after they were not allowed to enter the premises, reports ANI.
4.21 pm: Around 700 police personnel have been deployed outside the gates of JNU, reports ANI.
4.19 pm: JNU students gather in front of the north gate of the university.
4.18 pm: The Indian Medical Association condemns the violence on doctors and nurses who went to treat injured JNU students. “How does it reflect on the nation, if it cannot protect its doctors and nurses reaching out to the injured?” the doctors’ association asks. “Is this a civil war? What is the message that goes out to the nation?”
4.14 pm: Writer-activist Kancha Ilaiah condemns the brutal attack on JNU teachers and students. “Under the present BJP/RSS rule unusual levels of violence has been let loose on campuses,” he writes in a statement. “For the first time in higher education history after independence masked forces with lethal weapons entered the campus and brutally beat teachers and students. This signals a new level of disturbing trend of organised violence with a support of university and higher administration.”
He calls the attack “un-India”. Ilaiah says the BJP/RSS should encourage its students’ wing to engage in serious reading and writing. “They can build their own ruling class thought with serious study and writing. ABVP was/is not known to the academic rigor even in their own ideology,” he adds. “They always deploy muscle power on the campuses but not brain power.”
4.10 pm: Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam arrives at the Gateway of India to show solidarity with JNU students, reports The Indian Express.
4.08 pm: Students form a human chain at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad to protest against violence at JNU, reports PTI. They also shout slogans against the BJP, the ABVP.
4.05 pm: Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee asks the government to establish the truth. “I think any Indian who cares about the nation’s image in the world should worry,” he tells News18. “This has too many echoes of the years when Germany was moving towards Nazi rule.”
3.35 pm: CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury calls the JNU violence “a pre-planned attack by outsiders”. He says it is an assault on reason, rationality and democracy.
3.08 pm: JNU VC has made mockery of teaching and learning process, alleges JNU Teachers’ Association, reports PTI.
3.03 pm: Additional forces deployed outside Banaras Hindu University.
3.01 pm: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) demands that JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar be immediately sacked. “The vice chancellor, who has been instrumental in systematically undermining and dismantling the country’s premier university, had permitted this rampage to go on unchecked for hours,” says the party. “The vice chancellor should be sacked for this complicity in permitting this attack. The President of India as the visitor of the university must immediately sack the vice chancellor and ensure that normalcy prevails in the campus.”
2.48 pm: The AMU Students Coordination Committee demands the resignation of JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar on moral grounds, reports The Indian Express. It cites reports from JNU to say that even medical teams were prevented by the mob from entering the campus. “Only a time-bound judicial inquiry would uncover the full truth,” it adds.
2.40 pm: Minister of State, HRD, Sanjay Dhotre appeals to all student bodies and groups to maintain peace. “Opposition should also think before speaking on such sensitive matters, allegations and counter allegations will not solve the issue,” he tells ANI.
2.18 pm: Chidambaram says the country is fast moving towards anarchy.
2.15 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram asks where was Delhi Police commissioner at the time of the attack, reports PTI. “Why didn’t he rush to JNU when students were being attacked and shown on TV?”
2.08 pm: JNU research scholar Surya Prakash, who is visually impaired, alleges that the mob broke open his room while he was studying. “I told them I was blind but they didn’t listen,” he tells The Hindu.
2.05 pm: Students of Jadavpur University, Kolkata, protest against JNU violence.
1.46 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray likens the attack on JNU students with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, reports PTI.
1.40 pm: JNU Chief Proctor Dhananjay Singh calls the violence very unfortunate. “We had a very good meeting today with the secretary of Ministry of Human Resource Development,” he tells ANI. “Efforts are on to normalise the university.”
1.38 pm: HRD meeting with JNU officials concludes, reports PTI. However, JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar did not attend it.
1.35 pm: Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi says the voice of India’s youth and students is being muzzled everyday. “The horrifying and unprecedented violence unleashed on India’s young by goons with active abetment of the ruling Modi Govt is deplorable and unacceptable,” she adds. Gandhi says Sunday’s “bone chilling attack” is a grim reminder of the extent the government will go to “stifle and subjugate every voice of dissent”.
1.30 pm: JNU Students’ Union President Aishe Ghosh tells NDTV that she had told police about “unknown people gathering at the campus” hours before the violence broke.
“At around 2.30 pm on Sunday, we had told police that we were not feeling safe because several unknown people had gathered at the campus,” she adds. “But there was no intervention.”
1.21 pm: Former MP and Congress leader Udit Raj accuses BJP’s Delhi leader of instigating violence, reports Hindustan Times. He claims former BJP MLA Anil Sharma, former BJP district president of Mehrauli Azad Singh along with four other party members were present outside JNU. “I have a video where they are shouting slogans ‘wampanthiyo gundo ko... maro goli’,” he says at a press conference.
Sharma and Singh admit that they were outside the varsity gate but were only trying to pacify the crowd. “He [Raj] should show one proof that we were involved in violence or were instigating people,” says Sharma. “We are ready for harshest punishment. We were trying to pacify people.”
1.15 pm: Students across the country and abroad stage protests in solidarity with JNU. Protests take place at Pondicherry University, Bengaluru University, University of Hyderabad and Aligarh Muslim University. “Today it is them, tomorrow it can be us,” a student of Pondicherry University tells PTI. “Violence in any form is condemnable. We stand by our friends in JNU.” Abroad, protests were held at Oxford and Columbia universities.
1.12 pm: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar says the JJNU students, professors have been subjected to a “cowardly, planned attack”, reports PTI.
1.08 pm: Visuals from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
1.03 pm: Students of Panjab University protest the JNU violence, reports PTI. They shout slogans as Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta starts speaking at a seminar.
12.57 pm: Mamata Banerjee calls the violence a “fascist surgical strike”, reports ANI. She adds that the Delhi Police is not under Arvind Kejriwal but under the central government. “On one side they have sent the BJP goons and on the other side they made the police inactive,” she says. “What can Police do if they are directed by higher authority?”
12.55 pm: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati condemn the JNU violence.
“Masked men attacking teachers and students in JNU shows the low to which the government will stoop in order to rule through fear,” says Yadav. “The BJP is using violence and hate to polarise society and stifle dissent. The ABVP are acting like the storm troopers of the BJP.”
Mayawati demands a judicial probe into the incident. “The violence against students and teachers in JNU is shameful and condemnable,” she adds.
12.53 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee calls the JNU violence a planted attack on democracy.
12.50 pm: BJP MP Gautam Gambhir says the JNU attack is “against ethos of country”. “Students cannot be targeted this way,” he tweets. “Such violence on university campus is completely against the ethos of this country. No matter what the ideology or bent of mind, students cannot be targeted this way. Strictest punishment has to be meted out to these goons who have dared to enter the University.”
12.41 pm: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condemns the attack on students at JNU. “Shocked to know about the violent JNUattack,” he tweets. “Violence has no space in democracy and such attacks on students must be condemned unequivocally. Appeal law enforcement agencies to take stiff action to apprehend the culprits and wish the injured students speedy recovery.”
12.28 pm: Delhi Commission for Women Chief Swati Maliwal issues summons to police over assault on female students inside JNU, reports ANI.
12.22 pm: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi condemns the violence. “There is no doubt these people were given the green signal by the powers that be,” he tells ANI. “They had covered their faces in a cowardly way and were allowed to enter JNU with rods and sticks.Worst is there is a video which shows police allowed them safe passage.”
12.10 pm: Actor Sushant Singh joins the protest at Gateway of India.
12.08 pm: A meeting of senior Aam Aadmi Party leaders and ministers is underway at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence over the JNU violence, reports PTI.
12.01 pm: Injured JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh’s parents say they are worried about their daughter but they would never ask her to back out, reports NDTV.
“The situation of the entire country is volatile,” says Ghosh’s father. “We are afraid. My daughter has been attacked, tomorrow someone else will be beaten up. Who knows, even I may be beaten up tomorrow.”
Ghosh’s mother chastised JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar for not starting a dialogue with the students. “The VC should resign,” she adds. “He is not doing anything. He is not entering into a dialogue with the students. So many incidents are taking place.”
11.51 am: JNU sends detailed report of violence on campus, sequence of events to HRD Ministry, reports PTI.
11.46 am: The Congress accuses the government of harbouring enmity with youth of the country, reports PTI. The party says the violence on JNU campus reminds it of the Nazi rule.
11.43 am: Following the violence in JNU, the university administration warns those trying to “disrupt peaceful academic atmosphere of campus will not be spared”. “It is unfortunate that a group of students with their violent means of protests are preventing thousands of non-agitating students from pursuing their academic activities,” it reads. “The JNU administration stands by every student who wants to continue their academic programs peacefully in the campus.”
11.40 am: Former JNU Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar says the BJP government has been waging war on students across the country. “How shameless is this government,” he tweets. “First they increase the fee, if the students protest, they make the police thrash them. If the students don’t budge, the government sends goons to attack them. Ever since they came to power, they have been waging war against students across the country. I say again, you can try to suppress, but India’s students will rise again, and they will together foil your conspiracy against the Constitution and the poor.”
11.34 am: The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union accuses Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar of being behind Sunday’s violence and seeks his removal, reports the Hindustan Times.
“Mr Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, it is time to go!” says a statement from the university’s students’ union. “The JNU community has a single point demand. That either this V-C resign or the MHRD [Ministry of Human Resource Development] as the competent authority remove him! M Jagadesh Kumar is behaving like a mobster who perpetuates violence in the university he is supposed to administer.”
11.31 am: JNU teachers’ association writes to President Ram Nath Kovind for the third time mentioning about the “urgent need for the removal of professor M Jagadesh Kumar from his position as the vice chancellor”. They write: “Yesterday’s unprecedented events at the University have served to highlight once again the extremely grave consequences of delay in heeding to our appeal.”
11.25 am: Javadekar condemns the violence. “Congress, Communists, AAP and some elements want to create environment of violence in universities across the country,” he adds.
11.22 am: Union minister Prakash Javadekar says Home Minister Amit Shah has ordered a probe, reports News18. “Investigation should be done properly,” he adds. “It should be seen who was creating problems for last 3 days. Yesterday, people came from outside. Police will do its job well.”
11.20 am: The JNU violence case has been transferred to Delhi Police Crime Branch, reports PTI.
11.19 am: Police personnel stand outside JNU gate, reports ANI.
11.18 am: R Meena, the senior warden of JNU’s Sabarmati Hostel, resigns, reports ANI.
11.17 am: Congress seeks comprehensive judicial probe into JNU violence, reports PTI.
11.14 am: Politician-activist Yogendra Yadav alleges that he was attacked thrice on Sunday. In a Facebook post, the Swaraj Abhiyan chief says “the police watched” as he was kicked and fell on a road divider on his back. Yadav, who is a JNU alumnus, adds that he was manhandled and slapped outside the main gate of the university.
“While speaking to JNU teachers, a police inspector [no nameplate] dragged me and ABVP/RSS group [including Prof Mishra, Sanskrit department] pushed me, pulled my muffler,” he writes. “I fell down, minor injury. Police continued to push me out after I got up.”
11.10 am: Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala says the country witnessed “goondaism” at JNU on Sunday, reports PTI. “Violent attack happened right in presence of the police,” he adds. “The way girls’ hostel was attacked. Goons barged into JNU and attacked teachers and students. The way police didn’t react to over 150 calls. This shows there is no democracy left in this country.” Surjewala adds added that the incident happened under the watch of the university administration and Delhi Police.
10.50 am: All the 34 JNU students who were admitted to hospital for treatment yesterday have been discharged, confirms AIIMS trauma centre chief Dr Rajesh Malhotra.
10.18 am: Union minister Smriti Irani says investigation into the violence has begun. “So will not be right to speak on it now, but universities should not be turned into hubs of politics, neither should students be used as political pawns,” she tells ANI.
Meanwhile, Union minister Giriraj Singh blames Left students for “defaming Jawaharlal Nehru University”.
10.17 am: Congress leader Kapil Sibal asks how a masked mob was allowed to enter the campus. “What did the vice chancellor do?” he asks. “Why was police standing outside? What was the Home Minister doing? All these questions are unanswered.”
10.16 am: Kumar says no student needs to fear about their registration process. “The top priority of the university is to protect the academic interests of our students,” he adds.
10.14 am: JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar asks students to maintain peace. “University stands by all the students to facilitate their pursuit of academic activities,” he says, according to ANI. “We will ensure that their winter semester registration will take place without any hindrance.”
10.11 am: “We have taken cognizance of yesterday’s JNU violence and have registered an FIR,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-West) Devendra Arya tells ANI. “Social media and CCTV footages will be part of investigation.”
10.07 am: The secretary of the Human Resource Development Ministry will hold a meeting with the registrar, proctor and rector of JNU at his office today, reports NDTV.
10.05 am: Protests broke out in several parts of India late on Sunday night condemning the violence against students and faculty at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.