Students Allege Attack by ABVP Hours After Victory of United Left in JNUSU Polls
Newly-elected JNUSU President N Sai Balaji and former President Geeta Kumari say they were beaten up, lodge police complaint.
September 17, 2018
Hours after the United Left bagged a massive victory in the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) elections, RSS-backed ABVP members resorted to attacking some students in the campus. The newly elected President of the union, N Sai Balaji, and former President Geeta Kumari were reportedly targeted and attacked.
Early on Monday morning at 3 a.m, a group of ABVP members, who had faced a huge setback in the recently concluded elections, reportedly entered the Jhelum hostel in the campus and started beating up students on the pretext of they not voting for ABVP, said the newly elected JNUSU General Secretary Aejaz Ahmad Rather in a statement.
“The ABVP members were looking for Pawan Meena, who had been targeted earlier also, in Sutlej hostel. As they have entered the hostel, Pawan ran out and reached the premises of the Jhelum hostel. The ABVP members who had been chasing him, entered the Jhelum hostel and were looking past students from Sainik School of Chittorgarh. Many of the alumni of Sainik school are now studying in the School of Languages where ABVP had an upper hand. But, this time, they had faced a setback from this school and it is this anger that made them single out Sainik School alumni,” a student told Newsclick.
Soon after this, Balaji and others rushed to the spot. “Upon reaching what I saw was mayhem. The mob led by Saurabh Sharma (ABVP leader and former joint secretary, JNUSU) was baying for the blood of any student they thought was a friend of Pawan Meena. They were attacking students with sticks,” Balaji alleged.
“They openly threatened me, Geeta and other students present there with dire consequences if we intervened to stop the violence,” he added.
The group further started attacking Abhinay, a former JNU student in Jhelum and chased him to the the lawns, where he fell unconscious and had to be rushed to the hospital, he added.
“I was threatened by the mob and fearing my safety some students asked me to sit inside the PCR vehicle. However, the mob led by Ashutosh Mishra and Saurabh Sharma stopped the PCR vehicle and got a ABVP student to sit beside me. These two students were repeatedly stopping the PCR and threatening me. To my surprise Saurabh Sharma stopped the PCR between Jhelum and Sutlej and the ABVP student sitting inside the PCR van opened the door. More threats followed after which I was physically assaulted inside the PCR van by ABVP students outside,” Balaji said, describing the incident.
Following the early morning incident, many students headed back to the hostel for campaigning against the violence. The ABVP members, however, attacked the students outside the Periyar hostel. Apart from this, a group of people consisting of 20-30 people with lathis, sticks and iron rods was camping outside the Mahi-Mandavi hostel and threatened the students who were passing by. “We could not identify some of them. As of now, they all are locked inside the hostel,” one of the students said suspecting the involvement of outsiders in the series of attacks.
Balaji who has lodged a police complaint, said he was threatened by a mob led by Saurabh Sharma of ABVP there too, said Aejaz, while appealing to the students to remain united and vigilant..
Meanwhile, ABVP also alleged that some of its members were beaten up.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Devender Arya told NDTV that the situation was under control.
"The PCR got calls about a scuffle between students in JNU around 3 am. Subsequently, we had a discussion with university authorities, students and professors. Complaints have been received in Vasant Kunj (North) police station. Legal action is being taken on merit. The situation is under control and normal. Police arrangements are in place," he said.
First published in Newsclick.
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