Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union President Aishe Ghosh said on Tuesday that she was confident that there can be no police action against her, since she was not involved in any part of the alleged vandalism in the university’s server room on January 1 and 4, NDTV reported. She claimed the accusations against her were a “story made up by the university authorities”.
The Delhi Police have registered two first information reports against Ghosh and 26 other students for allegedly vandalising the server room and attacking security guards to disrupt registration of students for the winter semester. The vandalism was allegedly carried out as part of a protest against the fee hike on January 1 and January 4 – before Sunday’s violence on campus, in which Ghosh and 33 others were injured in a mob attack.
The FIRs, based on complaints by the university administration, were filed around 8.35 pm on Sunday, when the mob attack on the campus was under way. It has been alleged that activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s student wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, were responsible for the attack.
“I have not done any violence,” Ghosh told NDTV in an interview. “The police first need to have proof against me to take action.”
Ghosh said no vandalism that she had been charged with ever happened. “I have proof of voice messages and screenshots,” she said. “There are call records showing guards are beating up students in server room. ABVP activists came and literally lynched Satish [a student].” Ghosh alleged that she was slapped by one of the security guards, and that the administration is trying to protect the perpetrators.
Ghosh said that the students’ union had at a meeting on December 31 taken a decision that they would boycott the registration process. “Why would the administration not file an FIR against the ABVP activists?” she asked.
Asked about videos showing her and other students, faces covered, rushing towards hostels on Sunday, Ghosh said those videos were recorded around 1 pm, when she received the first complaints about a mob attacking students on campus.
The attack has led to protests across several university campuses in India, as well as abroad. There have also been protests at Gateway of India and Carter Road in Mumbai. Student groups as well as some political parties have called for the resignation of the JNU Vice Chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar.
The ABVP has claimed that Left organisations on campus were responsible for the attack.
Opposition parties question FIRs
Meanwhile, Opposition parties questioned the timing of the filing of the FIRs, PTI reported. “Is the police so incompetent under [Union Home Minister] Amit Shah?” the Congress tweeted. “Instead they file an FIR against a victim of the attack. Disgraceful.”
Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury claimed that the FIRs had been filed as an “afterthought”.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi said it was unfortunate that a case had been registered against the “girl who had 18-19 stitches on her head”. “Instead of booking a trespass case, attempt to murder case on all these people [who attacked students], what we are seeing is complete reverse is happening,” he said.
The JNU Students’ Union alleged the administration has remained “completely silent” on the attack, “and instead has now tried to criminalise the peaceful students of JNU, completely exposing the saffron nexus of the ABVP-Administration”. “Not only has the administration washed its hands off the violence committed by its henchmen, it has tried to blame the overwhelming majority of protesting students and file another fake complaint,” it said.