The Delhi Police failed to make any arrests for the second straight day after the violence by a masked mob at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on Sunday, in which 34 students and teachers were injured. The university’s Vice Chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar, called the violence “unfortunate” and asked the students to return to the campus.
Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone visited the campus in the evening to join a protest and meet students. Meanwhile, protests against the mob attack continued on various college campuses around the country.
Earlier in the day, it emerged that the police had filed two FIRs against JNU Students’ Union President Aishe Ghosh and 19 others for allegedly vandalising a server room on January 4, the day before violence erupted on campus. The cases were filed while the violence was underway. The FIRs were criticised by Opposition parties and student groups.
Here are the updates from the day:
10.11 pm: Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar says that university communication and information systems have been made functional now and after that, the number of students who have paid fee for winter semester rose to 3,552. The registration date has been extended to January 12.
10.09 pm: A four-member fact-finding committee of the Congress will visit JNU campus on Wednesday, ANI reports.
8.52 pm: Deepika Padukone greets Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union President Aishe Ghosh at the university.
8.50 pm: Actor Deepika Padukone visits the JNU campus to express solidarity with students, but leaves without addressing them, PTI reports.
8.20 pm: Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar tells ANI that no warden had resigned, as reported on Monday. “There were rumours that some wardens resigned,” he says. “There is no such resignation that have taken place. Some protesting students surrounded our wardens, shouted at them and humiliated them. Is it way to have any dialogue?”
Kumar says the administration sent security guards to control the situation after it got to know that a group of students was “moving aggressively” towards the hostel area around 4.30 pm on Sunday. “But more students gathered,” he says. “Immediately, police was contacted. Situation was contained.”
8.19 pm: Officials from the HRD Ministry will meet JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar on Wednesday to discuss the violence, PTI reports.
7.12 pm: Protestors hold a candelight march in Bengaluru in protest against JNU violence, reports ANI.
7.09 pm: Around 50 IIT-Bombay students and faculty assembled in the institute’s premises to reiterate the values of Constitution. They held posters that read: “Sovereign”, “Socialist”, “Secular”, “Democratic”, and “Republic”, reports The Indian Express.
7.06 pm: A protest was organised near Mumbai’s Churchgate station to condemn the violence in JNU. The demonstrators, mainly women, held banners criticising the ABVP. The protest, organised by the Mulbhut Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti, was conducted peacefully, reports PTI.
5.40 pm: JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar says the university administration does not rush to the police when a law and order situation arises. He adds that the authorities first try to establish whether they can “handle it”. “We informed police on Sunday when we saw possibility of aggressive behaviour among students,” he says, according to PTI.
5.32 pm: Delhi Police asks people to come forward with information on JNU violence, reports ANI. “All those who are witnesses to JNU violence or have any information about it or have captured any activity on mobiles or camera, are hereby requested to come forward and give their statements/footage/picture to SIT [Special Investigation Team] at Admin Block, JNU Campus,” says Deputy Commissioner of Police Joy Tirkey.
5.05 pm: Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale says those involved the violence in JNU should be identified soon and arrested, reports PTI.
5.02 pm: These are the visuals outside JNU:
4.58 pm: Author and theatre activist Shamsul Islam asks police stationed outside JNU where the barricades were when the masked assailants unleashed violence in JNU, reports The Indian Express. Police has stopped the protesting members of the alumni outside the university’s main gate.
4.35 pm: The JNU alumni march is being led by Yechury and Left leader Prakash Karat, The Indian Express reports. They have reportedly been stopped at the university’s main gate and not allowed entry.
4.31 pm: Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury participates in the protest outside JNU. “I’m here to show solidarity with JNU teachers and students,” he tells ANI. “I condemn JNU violence. If Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar thinks he can silence students then it will not happen. We demand removal of [the] VC, identification of those who attacked students and also rollback of fee hike.”
4.29 pm: JNU teachers and students protest against Sunday’s violence outside the university, reports ANI.
4.26 pm: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi calls for JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar’s resignation. “If he [JNU Vice-Chancellor] has any shame left, he should immediately resign,” he tweets.
4.22 pm: Students from Jadavpur University in Kolkata protest against the mob attack in JNU, reports ANI. On Monday evening, the Kolkata Police lathicharged students of the university and Bharatiya Janata Party workers after their rallies collided near Sulekha crossing in the southern part of the city.
4.19 pm: Delhi Police says no fresh episodes of violence have been reported from anywhere on the JNU campus. “Active deployment of police to continue both inside and outside the university,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Devender Arya tells NDTV.
4.17 pm: Members of several Left organisations carry out a protest against the January 5 violence at JNU, reports ANI.
4.07 pm: Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar criticises The New York Times for its report that claimed the mob, unleashing violence at JNU, had raised “Jai Shri Ram” slogans. It seems The New York Times consists of the most ardent bhakts of Lord Ram as they seem to find him everywhere,” he tweets. “On a serious note, waiting to read their ground reporting of the violence and religious persecution from Shri Nankana Sahib. Which slogans did they hear there?”
Last week, a mob had had pelted stones at the gurdwara near Lahore. The site, considered to be one of the holiest Sikh shrines, was the birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.
3.50 pm: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu says education institutions should not become safe havens for politics of hate and violence. “Academic endeavours, co-curricular initiatives must attain primacy in universities, and not factionalism and divisive tendencies,” PTI quotes him as saying.
3.24 pm: Delhi Police have also taken into account WhatsApp screenshots regarding JNU violence being circulated, and have identified the numbers, reports ANI. Most of the numbers are switched off at the moment, but the police are checking their location at the time of the mob violence.
3.21 pm: Unidentified Delhi Police officials tell ANI that the Crime Branch is finding it difficult to identify people involved in Sunday’s violence at JNU as the CCTV server was damaged on January 3.
2.55 pm: A journalist says the vice chancellor gave a minute-long press conference, and did not take questions from the media.
2.53 pm: M Jagadesh Kumar tells reporters that the registration process for the winter semester has been restarted. “Let us make a new beginning and put the past behind,” he adds, according to ANI.
2.52 pm: JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar says the mob attack on campus was unfortunate. “Our campus is known for debates and discussions to resolve to any issues,” ANI quotes him as saying. “Violence is not a solution. We will find every opportunity to make sure that normalcy returns to the university.”
2.43 pm: The North East Students’ Organisation says the January 5 violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University was barbaric, and expresses solidarity with students. “Such violence at an academic institution is unacceptable,” PTI quotes the outfit’s advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya as saying. The organisation will stage protests in the northeastern states on January 8 and January 9.
2.40 pm: JNU Professor Sucharita Sen, who was injured in Sunday’s attack, has filed a police complaint, reports PTI. Sen says she was hit with a large stone on the shoulder, before being hit on the head with an even larger one. She fell on the ground, bleeding profusely.
2.37 pm: Delhi Police Joint Commissioner Shalini Singh says investigators visited the spots on the JNU campus where the mob unleashed violence on Sunday evening, and interacted with students. “Currently, the investigation is in its initial stage,” ANI quotes her saying. “Students have put their confidence in us, and given us few inputs.”
2.29 pm: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi has expressed solidarity with Jawaharlal Nehru University, and condemned the FIR filed against JNU Students’ Union President JNUSU Aishe Ghosh, reports News18.
2.27 pm: Union minister Prakash Javadekar says the masked mob involved in the JNU attack will be exposed soon, reports The Indian Express. “Also, misunderstandings are deliberately being spread in JNU and in others parts of the country to incite violence, which will also be exposed,” he adds.
2.06 pm: Various Left organisations in Thiruvananthapuram hold a protest against JNU violence, reports ANI.
2.04 pm: Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray responds to the controversy over a “Free Kashmir” placard that a woman held up at a protest in the city on Monday. “Apart from that incident look at the larger picture, yes we need to see her intent,” he tells ANI. “Was it to remove internet blockade? If it was freeing Kashmir from India then its wrong. Obviously everyone condemned it, not even other protestors supported it.”
1.55 pm: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai claims BJP workers and leaders believe in law and order, and could not have been behind the January 5 violence at JNU. “This is work of Communists and Congress and Kejriwal,” he alleges, according to ANI.
1.32 pm: Here is a video of ABVP activists attacking National Students’ Union of India leader Nikhil Savani in Ahmedabad.
1.17 pm: NSUI National Secretary Saimon Farooqui accuses ABVP of stabbing activists from his organisation during the Ahmedabad protest. Farooqui says NSUI’s Gujarat General Secretary Nikhil Savani was among those injured in the attack.
1.14 pm: The police in the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat have used batons to push back activists from the Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad after the two clashed, reports ANI. The incident occurred near the ABVP office while the NSUI was protesting against mob violence at JNU. The saffron outfit has been blamed for the attack.
12.50 pm: A team from the Forensic Science Laboratory is at Jawaharlal Nehru University to investigate the January 5 violence, reports ANI. A Crime Branch team is also on the campus.
12.46 pm: Mumbai Police will take legal action against Mumbai resident Mehak Mirza Prabhu for carrying a “Free Kashmir” placard during the protest at Gateway of India on Monday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tells Hindustan Times. Prabhu is a writer.
12.37 pm: Students of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University are protesting against the attack on JNU students and teachers, reports PTI. The demonstration outside the institution’s main gate is being led by the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Vidyarthi Sanghatana.
“The violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi should not be given a political colour, like Left or right-wing angle, but a fair probe should be conducted into it,” says the student body’s President Bhushan Waghmare.
12.29 pm: JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar says the university administration is trying to talk to students so that the registration process can be restarted. “The administration is in contact with the students who are protesting,” he tells ANI. “It is a total myth that we do not talk to them.”
12.19 pm: Mumbai resident Mehak Prabhu, who held up the “Free Kashmir” placard, has addressed the misinformation being spread about her on social media.
In a YouTube video, she says the demonstrators had gathered to not only protest against the JNU violence, but also speak in defence of the right to enjoy freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. “Right now, because of the internet shutdown in Kashmir since the last five months, people of Kashmir do not have that right,” she says. “If we believe Kashmiris are like us [Indians], we should also treat them in a befitting manner. They should get the basic rights we are getting. They should have the freedom to express themselves. And that is why I picked up the placard.”
12.10 pm: A “Free Kashmir” poster held up at the Gateway of India protest in Mumbai on Monday has sparked a controversy in the state. Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who earlier questioned his successor Uddhav Thackeray about the poster, has now accused NCP leader Jayant Patil of advocating “separatist tendencies”.
12 pm: The Malayalam film industry has condemned the violence unleashed by a mob at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday, saying it is a “criminal offence” and deserves harshest punishment, reports PTI. Actors Prithviraj Sukumaran, Manju, Tovino Thomas and Nivin Pauly, and actor-turned director Geetu Mohandas are among those who have criticised people responsible for the violence.
11.48 am: The Ministry of Human Resource Development has advised the JNU administration not to pursue police cases and disciplinary action against students, reports The Indian Express. “The idea is not to close the university, but ensure that things return to normal,” an unidentified official is quoted as saying.
On Monday, the ministry reportedly conveyed its displeasure about the university administration’s insensitivity towards injured students.
11.40 am: CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury says Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on JNU violence “speaks the loudest”. He adds: “A PM who cannot summon his voice when students a few kilometres away from his residence are beaten up is either complicit or incompetent.”
11.28 am: The Congress has set up a four-member fact-finding committee on JNU violence, reports ANI. It is scheduled to meet today, and submit a report to party President Sonia Gandhi in a week.
11.25 am: The Delhi Police are using video footage and face-recognition system to identify those involved in Sunday evening’s violence at JNU, unidentified government officials tell PTI.
11.16 am: A Hindutva outfit called Hindu Raksha Dal takes responsibility for the attack on JNU students and teachers. “JNU is a hotbed of anti-national activities, we can’t tolerate this,” its leader Pinky Chaudhury tells ANI. “We take full responsibility of the attack in JNU and would like to say that they were our workers.” However, as reported by Scroll.in and The Indian Express, WhatsApp messages planning the attack have been traced to ABVP activists.
11.09 am: The Mumbai Police are noting down the names of protestors as they leave Azad Maidan. However, they are being assured that no arrests will be made, reports The Indian Express.
“Action will be taken against 10-15 people under sections 68 and 69 of IPC, while names of all others are needed just for their safety to ensure no one goes missing after leaving Azad Maidan as they were detained by us,” says police spokesperson Sangram Singh. “Every Mumbaikar is my responsibility. There will be no action against them. I am not taking any address or contact number. I am urging people to be a little transparent.”
10.54 am: A protestor in Mumbai says the police forcibly shifted the demonstrators from Gateway of India to Azad Maidan. “But now we have called off our ‘Occupy Gateway of India’ protests, it was a successful protest,” ANI quotes him as saying. “Our resistance will continue, we have a long line up of programs.”
10.48 am: The chief proctor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, at least eight office-bearers of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a teacher of a college affiliated to Delhi University, and two PhD scholars were part of at least three WhatsApp groups where messages threatening violence against the university’s students were circulated on Sunday, reports The Indian Express. Scroll.in also traced the messages planning the attack to ABVP activists.
10.30 am: The ABVP’s Delhi State Joint Secretary Anima Sonkar says that the masked figures videotaped and photographed in a corridor in Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday evening were indeed the party’s “activists”. She stated that they were armed in self-defence.
10.10 am: For nearly three months, many JNU students have been protesting against the decision of the administration to increase hostel fees. The protests had gathered momentum over the last few days as the registration process for the winter semester began.
On Saturday, members of the JNU Students’ Union, which is dominated by Left student organisations, tried to block the registration process that was taking place at the Communications and Information Services Centre. A student not associated with any organisation told Scroll.in that a scuffle broke out as the protesting students attempted to disrupt the WiFi internet connection to stall registrations. Video footage shows members of the Left groups clashing with those belonging to the ABVP.
Read more here:
10 am: The Delhi Police file an FIR against JNU Students’ Union President Aishe Ghosh and 19 others for allegedly vandalising a server room on Saturday, a day before violence erupted on campus, NDTV reports. Ghosh sustained lacerations to the head and was taken to the trauma centre at All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Sunday night.
9.39 am: Jawaharlal Nehru University Professor CP Chandrasekhar has resigned from the Standing Committee on Economic Statistics, Business Standard reports.
“I was persuaded that this government is not concerned about the robustness of India’s statistical system,” Chandrasekhar says. “The JNU’s incident on Sunday has further undermined the faith in the system. It shows that we are now living in a different world and it’s hard to work with a government in which you have lost faith.”
In an email to the committee members, he wrote: “I regret to inform you that, because of the situation in the JNU where I stay, I will be unable to attend tomorrow’s meeting. Further, I feel that, under current conditions, this committee is unlikely to be able to restore the credibility of the statistical system, which has been undermined in the recent past.”
9.34 am: Police personnel are stationed outside JNU.
8.55 am: The Kolkata Police lathicharged students of Jadavpur University and Bharatiya Janata Party workers on Monday evening after their rallies collided near Sulekha crossing in the southern parts of the city.
Read more here:
8.50 am: Students and faculty of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, protested in solidarity with JNU students on Monday.
“A group of concerned students and faculty at IIM Calcutta have gathered at New Academic Block inside IIM Campus to condemn the violence unleashed by masked perpetrators in Jawaharlal Lal Nehru University on Sunday,” a statement said. “They emphasized that freedom to express dissent is the basic feature of an academic environment and academic institutions cannot function under continuous threat of violence.”
They demanded action against the perpetrators of violence and observed a candlelight vigil. “As a mark of protest, they have decided to wear black ribbons to work on 7th January, 2020, Tuesday.”
8.45 am: Deputy Commissioner of Police Sangramsingh Nishandar alleges the protestors had blocked roads and were inconveniencing Mumbaikars and tourists. “We had appealed to protestors many times, have now relocated them to Azad Maidan,” he tells ANI.
8.40 am: The Mumbai Police have evicted protestors from the Gateway of India and moved them to the Azad Maidan, ANI reports. More than a hundred citizens had started a spontaneous “Occupy Gateway” protest on the pavement to condemn the violent attack on students of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday night. It continued till Tuesday morning.
8.30 am: Anger over the mob attack on students and teachers at the Jawaharlal Nehru University spread to several college campuses in India on Monday, as well as to some universities abroad.
A mob, allegedly comprising members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s youth wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, armed with sticks and hammers, attacked students at hostels in JNU on Sunday evening, leading to injures to at least 34 people, including faculty members. The wounded were admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. They have now been discharged.
Later, a group of right-wing activists sloganeering outside the university’s main gate heckled, abused and threatened several journalists who were reporting on the violence. Scroll.in’s Rohan Venkataramakrishnan was surrounded by the mob, shoved around, hit on the head and called a “Naxalwadi”. Several eye-witness accounts and videos indicated that in most places, police personnel present at JNU did almost nothing to stop the violence and, in fact, allowed armed and masked goons to exit the university without apprehending them.
Several students alleged that the violence had been perpetrated by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which is the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Members of ABVP, however, blamed the violence on “Naxals” and leftist students. However, Scroll.in traced back Whatsapp messages planning the attack on JNU students – as well as celebrating it – to ABVP activists.