VC slams violence at JNU; police on WhatsApp trail
07 January 2020
Amidst charges and counter-charges over Sunday’s mayhem at New Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar said all those who indulged in violence would be brought to book.
He also called upon the students to end violence and make a new beginning. “Our campuses mustn't become safe havens for politics of hate and violence to thrive; academic endeavours, co-curricular initiatives must attain primacy in universities and not factionalism and divisive tendencies,” he said.
And as allegations fly thick and fast, the Delhi police have announced an investigation into the unfortunate incident.
JNU professor Sucharita Sen, who suffered head injuries during an attack on students and teachers in the university campus on Sunday, has filed a police complaint. Sen said outsiders had gathered at the university campus with sticks, rods, and deadly weapons.
Police have also taken into account the WhatsApp screenshots being circulated and have identified the numbers as well. Most of the numbers are switched off right now. But their location at the time of violence will be taken through, police sources said.
With faces covered vandals at the JNU campus were difficult to be identified even with the help of CCTV, whose server has been damaged.
Several teams of Forensic Sciences Laboratory were at the JNU to collect evidence. Teams from physics, chemistry and biology divisions of the FSL were in the university. A team of photo experts from the FSL was also present at the campus. Delhi Police has requested the FSL to also send a computer forensics team to analyse CCTV footage.
We have visited all the spots and interacted with students in JNU. Currently the investigation is in its initial stage. Students have put their confidence in us and given us few inputs, police said.
Meanwhile, one Pinky Chaudhary claiming to represent an unheard of group, called Hindu Raksha Dal, is reported to have has owned up responsibility for Sunday’s violence at JNU.
"JNU is a hotbed of anti-national activities. We can't tolerate this. We take full responsibility of the attack in JNU and would like to say that they were our workers," news agency ANI reported quoting Chaudhary.
The Delhi Police said they are looking into this claim even as some sources say the fringe group may be working to deflect the police peobe.
The Delhi Police are also using face-recognition software to identity the masked people who came armed with sticks and sharp weapons, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The police are scanning multiple video clips to unmask the attackers, who charged at students and professors after sundown on the campus.
A facial recognition system uses biometrics to map facial features from a photograph or video and compares the information with a database of known faces to find a match.
Several photos and videos of the mob attack at JNU show people wearing face mask standing in the corridors of the hostels, with sledgehammers in their hands.
A First Information Report (FIR) has been filed against the JNUSU leader Aishe Ghosh, who was injured in the attack, and 19 others for allegedly vandalising the university server room and attacking security guards on Saturday.
The FIR, filed at 8:43 pm on Sunday - around the time Ghosh and other JNU students were being brutally attacked by the masked mob - claims she "indulged in physical violence", "pushed lady guards" and "threatened" guards. A second FIR - also about the server room incident - had been filed on Friday, but doesn't name Ghosh.
Student groups across the country declared solidarity with JNU students, as they staged protest against the mob attack on students and teachers inside the university campus on Sunday night.
But, in signs that the student protests are an extension of the opposition protests against the government’s CAA legislation and are still backed by vested interest, demonstrations at Mumbai’s Gateway of India had at least one girl holding ‘Free Kashmir’ placard.
In Ahmedabad, clashes erupted between ABVP and NSUI workers and police had to resort to lathi charge to disperse the crowd. NSUI was protesting near ABVP officer over JNU violence when clash broke out. Reports said around 10 people were injured.
The student unrest that followed the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Delhi Jamia Milia Islamia and the Aligarh Muslim University by the Left and Islamists has now been taken up by the rest of the opposition parties.
It is still unknown why students, especially from universities like JNU and JMI who are supposed to debate and analyse things, should get involved in political dirty games.