A day after the brutal violence unleashed by 'masked mobs' in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus, DCP South West Delhi, Devendra Arya on Monday said that investigation is being carried out in right earnest and that relevant sections of the law have been invoked in the matter. He further stated that messages communicated on social media are being monitored for identification purposes.
"Sections related to rioting and sections under Damage to Public Property Act have been invoked in the JNU violence case that took place on Sunday. As far as the question of identification remains, we are monitoring all the messages communicated on social media by both sides. We are carrying out the investigation in the right earnest," Arya told reporters.
On Sunday night, Delhi Police filed its first report detailing the incident and stated that 'outsiders in masks' were responsible. They said the scuffle between the Left-wing and right-wing students escalated post-noon on Sunday. They added that 'masked outsiders' entered hostel at 5 PM and attacked students, faculty and damaged property. On being called by the JNU administration at 6:30 PM, Delhi police entered the campus,
Political parties across the spectrum questioned the Delhi Police over the violence that occurred in their presence. Communist Party of India (CPI) secretary D Raja on Monday questioned the inaction by the state police and questioned why no arrests were made so far. Speaking to the media D Raja said, "Police and head officials were present in full strength. Why there is no arrest so far? Police should answer now, why no arrest has been made so far? Yogendra Yadav was pushed, I was also there, but the Delhi Police didn't take any action. Where is democracy? The institutions are being targeted, where is the future going? ABVP had the responsibility to stop those masked goons. Why didn't they stopped them?"
In a statement, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi accused the Police of creating fear among students while giving a free passage to the masked goons. He said, "The police created fear on the campus and injured so many students. There was a video that showed that the police gave safe passage to the masked men. When protesters came and protested, the same slogans of hatred were raised against the protesters. This is a central university in the capital of our country, For these kinds of incidents, it is for the government to decide on what kind of message you are sending to the whole world."
Along with that, Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh and senior Congress leader took the Delhi Police to task for remaining "silent spectators" in the mayhem. He said, "Delhi Police cannot remain silent spectators to this mayhem unleashed by a handful of goons in the premier university. This is barbaric, atrocious and needs to be tackled with an iron hand." The national capital Police come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs, considering the fact that Delhi is a Union Territory.
Violence broke out at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday night as masked men armed with sticks and rods attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in the police which conducted a flag march. At least 28 people, including JNU Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured as chaos reigned on the campus for nearly two hours.
Eyewitnesses alleged the attackers entered the premises when a meeting was being held by JNU Teachers' Association on the issue of violence on campus and assaulted students and professors. They also barged into three hostels. Video footage aired by some TV channels showed a group of men, who were brandishing hockey sticks and rods, moving around a building. The Left-controlled JNUSU and the RSS-backed ABVP blamed each other for the incident.
Senior Union ministers and JNU alumni S Jaishankar and Nirmala Sitharaman too condemned the violence. Sitharaman said the pictures of violence were horrifying and asserted that the government wants universities to be safe spaces for all students. Amid allegations of delayed action, Delhi Police said it conducted a flag march and the situation was brought under control after it got a written request from the JNU administration to enter the campus. It, however, did not say if any arrests had been made.
(with agency inputs)