Jawaharlal Nehru University witnessed brutal violence on Sunday, January 5. Students including the students' union president alleged that they were attacked by members and supporters of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABPV) while the police stood in silence. Videos going viral on the internet show that the students were attacked by masked men who carried wooden bats and iron rods. Reportedly, the men beat up faculty members, students who were protesting and left many bleeding on the campus.
For almost 70 days, a standoff has been going on between the students and the administration over the hostel fee hike. Students claim that the hike has increased their expenses three-fold and have been demanding a rollback. The JNU administration has justified the hike saying that the room rent has not been revised in 30 years and they are spending 10 crore a year for the payment of electricity, water, and service charges.
JNUSU General Secretary Satish Yadav said, "For the past 68 days, there has been a movement in JNU against fee hike. The administration has tried to break this movement but has been unsuccessful. This time they have colluded with ABVP to spread violence."
Narrating the incident, Satish said that the students were marching peacefully to the T-point and were attacked with stones by ABVP students who were on the roof. Students were injured on their heads and the march dispersed. Students were rushed to hospitals and some joined a meeting where they appealed for the atmosphere in JNU to remain peaceful.
According to a report by the BBC, at least 40 people from the faculty and student body were admitted in the hospital, some suffered severe head injuries and fractures.
Warning: Distressing images and videos
Message from JNU: ABVP has gathered in huge numbers in Sabarmati Dhaba in JNU armed with lathis and rods. They are breaking glasses of hostels and cars. JNUSU President @aishe_ghosh brutally assaulted and is severely bleeding from head.— Umar Khalid (@UmarKhalidJNU) January 5, 2020
Spread the message. #SOSJNU pic.twitter.com/MsL7Q6zFeI
In one video being shared on the internet, the JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh, with blood running down her face can be heard saying, "I've been brutally attacked by goons who were masked, I have been bleeding... I am not in a condition to talk."
Her father said that he was scared because of the volatile situation all around the country, even he could be beaten up in the future and his mother demanded the Vice Chancellor's resignation. She affirmed she won't ask her daughter to back out of the protests.
Aishe's father added, "The situation of the entire country is volatile. We are afraid. My daughter has been attacked, tomorrow someone else will be beaten up. Who knows, even I may be beaten up tomorrow."
Here is the mob wielding iron rods and lathis and sticks freely roaming the JNU campus. The main gate is blocked, media not being allowed inside either. This is a complete collapse. @ArvindKejriwal if the police won't step in you must pic.twitter.com/5ffbUzqzQa— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) January 5, 2020
People were seen carrying lathis and sticks and entering the campus premises. Students have also blamed the police for standing on the sides and not intervening and stopping the violence. JNUSU vice-president, Saket Moon said, "The police have been on the campus since the afternoon but have done nothing."
"Kept thinking now the door would break now, now the door would break.... My heart was pounding for an hour till after it ended," Mirza describes the dread that engulfed him as he pushed the door back against the masked mob that was attacking them.@TheQuint #JNU #JNUSU pic.twitter.com/fQLcDjFfjP— Aishwarya S Iyer (@iyersaishwarya) January 6, 2020
Rehman Mirza, a student at JNU allege that all the rooms that have been vandalised, belong to Muslims.
"I kept thinking now the door would break now, now the door would break. My heart was pounding for an hour till after it ended," he added.
My cousin Sucharita Sen, member of #JNU faculty, in hospital with severe head injuries. Will the thugs who beat her up be called “anti national”? Will #JNU alumni in Modi Government stand up for her ? Resign in protest??who will today speak up for an unarmed teacher? #JNUattack pic.twitter.com/DqPmF0HFS6— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) January 6, 2020
Professor Sucharita Sen was beaten unsparingly too and was left heavily bleeding too.
Talking about the goons that entered the campus, Professor Atul Sood said, "These were not small stones, these were big stones that could have broken our skulls. I fell on the side and when I came out, I saw cars completely vandalised including my car."
Don't know who began this violence, who gains from it; all I know is that we spent the last three harrowing hours getting two terrified girl students out from the lab they had locked themselves in because goons were roaming outside with acid, safe back home.— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) January 5, 2020
Reality of JNU.
There were even reports suggesting that the attackers were carrying acid with them.
After around two hours of violence on the JNU campus, protestors from across the city, from Jamia to Shaheen Bagh, and from several other parts of the capital gathered outside Delhi Police Headquarters to demonstrate against reported police inaction in and around the central university’s campus. Hundreds of people protested against the policemen, who were reported to have been standing as silent spectators while faculty members and students of JNU were being assaulted.
A few generous people have got tea and biscuits for the protestors at Police HQ, ITO Delhi. pic.twitter.com/NTMMvl209W— Resist CAA (@ResistCAA) January 5, 2020
While it is still not confirmed by the police or the administration who the attackers were and people haven't been identified, we do hope this happens soon. An attack on students and teachers on the university campus as well as destroying public property are absolutely unacceptable. We hope the perpetrators are caught soon and strict action is taken.
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