Alerted the police, they didn’t react, where were they? Asks Aishe Ghosh, JNU

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Students Union President Aishe Ghosh spoke about the horrific details of the attacks on Jawahar Lal Nehru University students (JNU). Ghosh, who was brutally attacked, said violence on Jan 5th in JNU was an “organized” attack by “ABVP activists to quell the peaceful protests and march” against the hike. “JNU community has been leading the protest against the fee hike but these mobs unleashed violence.” On the evening of 5th Jan, the University libraries and hostels turned centres of violence and vandalising as students were attacked. Ghosh, bandaged on her head, came out to speak about the details with the press.

We alerted the police, they didn’t react, where were they? Aishe Ghosh asked. She notes through Sunday there were protests in the University and some protestors were also attacked in the morning, which were reported. Despite that alert, Ghosh notes, the evening violence happened.

Also Read: Women’s safety compromised during JNU violence

“I wrote that on behalf of JNUSU that there is a gathering of students along with unknown persons inside the campus who have been beating up other students in the day. They are carrying weapons with which they are attacking the students and that the police should immediately intervene and ensure that no such incident happens and make sure of our safety.”

She said the police was at all times aware of the situation.”I messaged from my phone to the SHO, the inspectors who were on-duty on JNU campus and the Delhi Police ACP. We have screenshots of the same. After half an hour of sending the message, I even talked with the police on the phone when they assured us that everything is alright and those people with weapons have been removed but clearly at 6.30 pm when a masked mob of 60-70 people carrying weapons started to beat up common students with brutality here at Sabarmati dhaba where a JNU Teachers’ Association’s peaceful march was planned opposing fee hike in solidarity with students. ”

Also Read: Parents concerned about their children in universities post JNU violence

“Between 3-4 I and some other collegemates were at Sabarmati dhaba drinking tea when we came to know that a group of people with sticks, wickets, hockey sticks and iron rods had gathered at Ganga dhaba.” She says this was the second time there was a scuffle as some problems among students were reported in the morning as well. “even this was going to happen as even in the morning yesterday one or two of my friends were beaten up by ABVP activists from the campus and unknown persons.”

Meanwhile, Delhi police also addressed a press conference today where Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa said, “We got the call at 7.45 and we went to the university, conducted a flag march and brought the situation under control. The spot where the scuffle between the students broke out in an area where Delhi Police is not usually deployed.”

Ghosh also shared the account of how she was attacked as she recalled that her sister was visiting her in the campus for the first time yesterday and so she was also with her however she “fortunately” escaped. “I was gheraoed by at least 30 people after which we did not have any option. I was beaten up by an iron rod on my head but up until then, I was trying to tell them that they cannot do violence. However, they did not listen and hailed iron rods on me and one more comrade after which we fell on the ground. Then they punched up numerous times and struck us with hammers. It was a frightening situation as they were about to lynch us when someone shouted that we were not supposed to be beaten up and then they ran away,” she recounted at the press conference with her head bandaged.

Ghosh fell on the ground when some students rescued her and took her to AIIMS trauma centre. Ghosh, who was recently voted in as the Students’ Union president in September, also said the JNU security was in nexus with the ‘goons.’  “The security guards and police were present everywhere where the violence happened and every time we asked for security they didn’t move an inch instead told us to stop fighting even when we did not raise a hand, we were being attacked,” she claimed.

The Delhi Police has now registered an FIR and recorded the incident. “The Crime Branch will investigate the incident. 34 people were injured and it was Delhi police’s priority that the injured be given proper care. Delhi Police have instituted a fact-finding committee to look into the incident,” Randhawa said.