• JNU Violence: No arrest yet, but police files FIR against injured Aishe Ghosh, 19 others


    January 7, 2020

    Image Courtesy: Vyshakh T/Peoples Dispatch

    New Delhi: Two days after video footage of scenes of brutal violence by masked persons, allegedly belonging to the RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), in Delhi’s JNU, the Delhi Police has not arrested a single person. 

    Instead, on Monday night, the police registered an FIR against JNU students' union leader, Aishe Ghosh, and 19 other people for allegedly vandalising the university server room and attacking security guards on Saturday. Ghosh is among those who were seriously injured by the mob. The FIR has been filed on the basis of a complaint by the JNU administration.

    It may be noted that the Sunday night’s mob rampage inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus left around 34 injured, most of them students, including some teachers and guards. The violence has led to widespread protests across the country. 

    Incidentally, all the while when the violence was going on inside JNU campus, the police stood as a spectator outside the campus gate and refused to intervene or maintain law & order, as it was seemingly waiting for “permission” from the Vice Chancellor.

    Despite some clear and unclear faces in the video footage, numerous eye-witness accounts and a senior ABVP leader even admitting that the masked people belonged to her organisation and were carrying stick and rods, the Delhi Police has not made a single arrest so far. 

    This is in stark contrast to Delhi Police’s action in Jamia Millia Islamia on December 15 night, when it barged into the campus, the reading room and toilets and brutally beat up students who were not even involved in the protest. The Jamia VC denied she had given permission to the police to enter the campus. The police even made the students march with their hands up, as if they were criminals. What’s more, within two days, 10 arrests were made.

    According to NDTV, the FIR against Ghosh, an SFI leader, was filed by the police at 8.43 p.m Sunday night itself, at the time she was profusely bleeding when she and other students were being brutally attacked by the murderous mob, claims that Ghosh "indulged in physical violence", "pushed lady guards" and "threatened" guards. A second FIR – also about the server room incident – had been filed Friday but doesn't name Ghosh, says the report.

    A third FIR was also filed in connection with the mob violence against unidentified persons, linking the violence to the ongoing student agitation against massive fee hike.

    In the FIR naming Aishe Ghosh, the JNU administration, according to NDTV,  has claimed the students allegedly made the servers dysfunctional the day before the registration, and again damaged them later after they were restored.

    The JNUSU has rubbished these allegations, alleging that it was the administration that used "masked" guards to destroy the server room and attack students. "They were shamefully wearing masks. JNUSU president was openly slapped," the JNUSU had alleged.

    According to PTI, in the FIR against unidentified persons, the Delhi Police, said they were deployed at 3.45 p.m, and entered the campus  only later in the evening “after the JNU administration requested them to control the violence”, which was later in the evening, by which time the mob was roaming around freely, attacking students, teachers and vandalising the campus.

    "On Sunday at 3.45 pm, a police team headed by an inspector, which was deployed in the administrative block, got information that a few students had gathered at the Periyar hostel and a fight had broken out between them. They also vandalised the hostel building," the FIR stated.

    The inspector, along with other policemen, reached the Periyar hostel and saw 40 to 50 people, some with their faces covered with masks, carrying sticks in their hands and beating up students and vandalising the hostel, it added.

    "Later, police entered the campus after the JNU administration requested them to control the violence inside the university. More police personnel were called and a request was made to students to maintain peace. Police received more PCR calls of violence," the FIR said, as per PTI.

    "At around 7 pm, information was received that some people had entered the Sabarmati hostel and were beating up students. They also vandalised the hostel. There were around 50 to 60 people carrying sticks in their hands. They were asked to stop the act and leave the premises, but they kept vandalising the building and beating up students. Thereafter, they ran away and the injured students were rushed to hospitals," it added.

    A case was registered under Sections 145 (joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object), 151 (knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, the FIR said. 

    First published in Newsclick.

    Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.