A fact-finding committee of the Congress on Sunday said the January 5 mob attack at Jawaharlal Nehru University was “state-sponsored”. The panel also suggested that the university’s vice chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar, be “dismissed immediately” and a criminal inquiry should be initiated against him.

“A criminal investigation must be initiated against the vice chancellor, the company that provides security service and members of the faculty “who are complicit in the incident” at Sabarmati and Periyar hostel, and other places,” said All India Mahila Congress President and a member of the committee Sushmita Dev at a press conference. “The security company’s contract must be immediately terminated.... It is clear that the attack on JNU was state-sponsored.”

The Congress leader said the Delhi police commissioner should also be held responsible for the violence at the university and not just the officers subordinate to the top official. The committee also recommended that the increase in fee structure must be rolled back, and described it as “unfair”.

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.

“This decision was taken by the Inter Hall Administrative Committee in which students’ representation is mandatory,” Dev said. “JNUSU [Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union] members were not allowed to take part in the meeting as the vice chancellor did not recognise it.”

Dev listed out two reasons to highlight why the increase in fee was unfair. After the implementation of the fee hike, JNU has become the most expensive central university in the country, she said, adding that it was put in place without consultation with the students.

Dev also posed a few direct questions to the vice chancellor. The fact-finding committee included former JNU National Students’ Union of India President Amrita Dhawan, and former NSUI president Syed Naseer Hussain, among others.

On January 5, the Delhi Police had filed two FIRs against JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh and several others based on events that had taken place between January 1 and 4. The JNU administration had filed a complaint with the police after the college’s servers were shut down. The FIRs were registered while the mob attack was underway at JNU. Ghosh was one of the 34 students and teachers injured in a mob attack on the campus.