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JNU Violence | What Happened Since January 4: Blow By Blow Account

The Opposition And JNU Students Blamed The ABVP, The Students' Wing Of The BJP For The Violence, And Accused The Delhi Police Of Inaction. The BJP Said Campuses Should Not Become Political Battleground.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 06 Jan 2020, 11:37:53 PM

New Delhi:

The attack on students and teachers at the Jawarharlal Nehru University by unidentified goons triggered protests across India on Monday as the clamour grew for the resignation of the vice chancellor who is being blamed for inaction during the violence that left 34 people injured.

As horrific first-person accounts emerged of the attack on Sunday evening, including on JNU students union president Aishe Ghosh, Delhi Police said no arrests have been made and that they have transferred the case to the Crime Branch, who claimed to have found "vital clues." 

Politicians of all parties condemned the violence. The opposition and JNU students blamed the ABVP, the students' wing of the BJP for the violence, and accused the Delhi Police of inaction. The BJP said campuses should not become political battleground.   

On Sunday, a mob of masked young people stormed the JNU campus in south Delhi and systematically targeted students in three hostels, unleashing mayhem with sticks, stones and iron rods, hitting inmates and breaking windows, furniture and personal belongings. They also attacked a women's hostel.

The 34 people, including students and faculty members, who were admitted to the AIIMS trauma centre were discharged on Monday morning, officials said.

Timeline of how the violence unfolded in JNU:

January 4: Around 1 pm, masked intruders entered the Central Information System and damaged the server.

January 5: Around noon, ABVP students who had gone for registration were attacked. This went on till 1 pm. Security guards who tried to intervene were also beaten up.

After 5 pm: More than 50 intruders entered the campus from the back gate. Armed with lathis, clubs, sticks and iron rods, they entered the hostels and attacked students inside Sabarmati Hostel and Koyna Hostel. They also attacked students who were at dhabas. Masked intruders also specifically attacked JNUSU official bearers and students.

5:30 pm: When the first distress call was made, few local police personnel reached the campus, but were stopped at the entrance gate because no permission was given.

Around 6:45 pm: The JNU administration gave a written consent to Delhi Police to enter inside. Then subsequently several calls were made by students who were attacked.

7 pm: The Delhi Police entered the JNU campus. Reinforcement entered the campus after 7:30 pm. Senior officers DCP, JCP reached the campus gate around 7:45 pm. More deployments were made after 8 pm.

7:30 pm: JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh was attacked while telling students not to panic.

Till 9 pm: The mob runs riot inside the hostels.

Delhi Police registers FIR

The Delhi Police registered an FIR against unidentified persons on Monday for rioting and damaging property, officials said. According to the FIR, students were protesting against a hostel fee hike for the last few days. According to instructions issued by the high court, no protest is allowed within a 100-metre radius of the administrative block of the university.

'Specifically targeted': Aishe Ghosh 

“I was specifically targeted on Sunday during a peace march on campus. Around 20-25 masked persons disrupted the march and attacked me with iron rods,” the union president, her head swathed in bandages, told news agency PTI after being released from hospital earlier Monday.

She received at least 15 stitches on the head, and her arm was in a cast after the attack. 

"For the last four-five days, some RSS affiliated professors were promoting violence to break our movement," Ghosh alleged at a press conference later.

ABVP denieS being responsible

The ABVP has denied being responsible, and in turn, has blamed Ghosh's Left-supported union of stage managing the violence. It also claimed that many of its activists were injured, but has not presented any to the media. 

Protests across the country

Protests against the citizenship amendment act and the attack against students of JNU -- which has seen a 70-day strike against the hike in fees -- segued into one with students joining parties across the political spectrum to call for accountability.

Large protests took place on Monday in universities in Pondicherry to Chandigarh and Aligarh to Kolkata. Protests were also held at the National Law University in Bangalore and IIT-Bombay as well as at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

In Mumbai, the protest by students at the Gateway of India that started at midnight continued.

In New Delhi, the youth wing of the Congress Party took out a torchlight march through central New Delhi.

In Nepal, JNU alumni gathered at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu to voice their protest, as did students at Oxford University and University of Sussex in Britain and at Columbia University in the US.

Bollywood spoke up too

"Horrifying", "heart-breaking" and "barbaric" is how many in the film industry, including actors-filmmakers Anil Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Rajkummar Rao, Anurag Kashyap and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, described the attack.

The JNU campus was a battle zone with the shattered windowpanes and the shards of glass mute testimonies of the violence the night before.

Uneasy calm in JNU

A day after they were attacked in what they believed was their safe refuge, many students in Jawaharlal Nehru University on Monday were both angry and fearful with some demanding that the guilty be booked and others saying they were going home.

There was an uneasy calm in the campus where there was a massive deployment of security personnel and authorities only allowed students with valid ID cards inside. However, these measures did not assuage the concerns of students over their safety.

(With PTI inputs)

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First Published : 06 Jan 2020, 11:12:02 PM

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