Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” on Monday said educational institutions cannot be allowed to become “political dens”, and vowed to take strong action against those who perpetrated the violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi on Sunday evening, PTI reported.
A masked mob – allegedly comprising members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and armed with sticks and hammers – viciously attacked students and faculty members on the campus, injuring at least 34 people. The wounded were admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. They were discharged on Monday.
“I have said this earlier also that these autonomous institutions cannot be allowed to become political dens,” Pokhriyal said at an event in Bhubaneswar. “Strong action will be initiated against people involved in such an attack.”
He said universities were centres of learning where “the country’s future is in the making”. Pokhriyal also accused Opposition parties of trying to turn universities into hotbeds of politics.
Earlier in the day, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said Home Minister Amit Shah had announced an investigation into the attack. “Investigation should be done properly,” he added. “It should be seen who was creating problems for last 3 days. Yesterday, people came from outside. Police will do its job well.”
The investigation has been transferred to the Delhi Police Crime Branch. Delhi Police Public Relations Officer MS Randhawa said a fact-finding committee was formed under the joint commissioner of police. “We have found some vital clues and we are trying that the case is solved soon,” he said.
Late on Sunday, two Union ministers – External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, both JNU alumni – condemned the violence on campus.
The JNU Students’ Union has blamed the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad for the violence. Scroll.intraced WhatsApp messages planning the attack to ABVP activists. Late on Sunday, protests broke out on many college campuses across India, and are still on.