Hours after Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union President Aishe Ghosh was attacked by a masked mob on Sunday, Delhi Police filed two FIRs against her and several others. The FIRs, filed around 8.35 pm on Sunday, was based on the events that had taken place on January 1 and 4.
Ghosh is one of 34 people injured during a violent mob attack on campus on Sunday.
The FIRs have been filed based on complaints lodged by the JNU administration. These were registered while the mob attack at JNU was taking place on Sunday.
The administration has alleged that a group of students on January 1 had entered the centre for information system and switched off the power supply after evicting the staff. On January 4, the administration alleged, students agitating over the hostel fee revision ransacked the server room and intimidated technical staff to hamper the semester registration process. While the FIR related to the alleged incident on January 1 named eight students, the one filed in connection with the January 4 incident has names of 20 students.
The university has claimed that Sunday’s violence was linked to the attack on the servers.
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 Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad.
On Sunday, around 4.30 pm, the Left groups decided to take out a march on the campus to reiterate their opposition to the fee hike and registration as well as to protest against the attempt by members of the ABVP to beat them up on Saturday.
As the students led by the Left groups assembled near the Periyar hostel, ABVP members pelted stones at them, they alleged. After a while, the police came in and asked the students to disperse. A lull followed. Around 5.30 pm, the protesting students noticed a group of masked people wielding iron rods and other weapons coming from the direction of the administrative block. The protesting students dispersed and ran for shelter into Periyar and Sabarmati hostels, located within 200 m of each other. But the mob followed them into the hostels.
The Sabarmati hostel was the epicentre of the violence that broke out on the JNU campus on Sunday evening. Masked men and women wielding sticks and sledgehammers assaulted students. Students also alleged that the police merely watched as the attackers went from room to room. Several students and teachers at Sabarmati hostel alleged that the masked attackers were members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, which is the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Scroll.in has traced WhatsApp messages planning and celebrating the attack to ABVP activists who were former students of JNU.
The FIR is among the three that the Delhi Police have registered in connection with the JNU violence, according to India Today. The Delhi Police, however, has not made any arrest in the JNU violence case even two days after the attack.
Ghosh, who was discharged from hospital after requiring 16 stitches on Monday, said she was hit with multiple rods during Sunday’s “organised attack”. She, however, added, that every iron rod used against students will be answered to by debate and discussion.
“For the past four-five days, some RSS-affiliated professors were promoting violence to break our movement [against hostel fee hike],” the JNUSU president said on Monday. “Are we wrong to ask for safety from the JNU and Delhi Police?”
The students’ union has demanded the resignation of Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar. It has alleged that he had not bothered to meet or check upon the injured students and professors.
On Monday, the Delhi Police filed an FIR against unknown people in connection with Sunday’s mob attack. The FIR was based on a statement of a Delhi Police inspector who claimed to be present at the campus during the violence. The FIR said the mob perpetrated violence and damaged public property at JNU.
Inspector Anand Yadav in the FIR said he was present near the administrative block of the varsity along with his team around 3.45 pm when they came to know that a mob was vandalising Periyar hostel. He said they found “40-50 unidentified persons with most of them having their faces covered, were beating up students and vandalising the building”.
However, the attackers fled when the police arrived.
Again, the same police team confronted the mob at Sabarmati Hostel around 7 pm. “These people were warned on the megaphone to stop violence but they did not stop and then ran away,” the FIR said.