Published: 19th November 2019
JNU students accuse Delhi Police of manhandling women protestors, say there were no female cops
JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh accused the police of paying no attention to the students' medical emergencies and manhandling female students
A day after a violent standoff with the Delhi Police, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union accused the Delhi Police of brutality and accused the government of destroying the atmosphere of education at a press conference on campus. The students also got involved in an altercation with media persons — leading to their accusing a section of the media of portraying the protest in a bad light. This came in response to some reporters accusing the students of "violent protests" and lecturing rather than answering their questions.
The JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh accused the Delhi Police of manhandling and molesting female students including her. "There were no female police personnel. The male police force dragged us to the bus. They almost disrobed me in the process. Some of the journalists have witnessed this," she said. Aishe also accused the police of paying no attention to the students' medical emergencies, "I was detained at Delhi Cantonment. There was a girl in my bus who was severely injured but the policemen refused to stop and get her any help. After the students were released, we were all separated so we could not join and continue the protest." She also said that the police officers had misled the union members and separated them from the students saying that they are being taken to meet a delegation from the MHRD. The lathicharge followed after the separation, she added.
The students did meet the Joint Secretary of the Department of Higher Education, GC Hosur, at Shastri Bhavan later on Monday night. "The authorities did assure us that they will take cognisance of the matter but we do not have much hope on that. The MHRD Minister himself had assured us that he will do right by us but nothing has happened till now," she added.
Showing no faith in the three-member 'high-power' committee appointed by Ministry of Human Resource Development to ensure that normalcy is restored at the university, she said, “The registrar has himself refused to talk to the members of the committee. What can we do in such a case? How will this move forward? Who can someone appointed by the government refuse to talk to them? And if that is the case then the VC and the Registrar should be relieved of their duties."
JNUSU’s General Secretary, Satish Chandra Yadav, said that their fight is not just about JNU but is for affordable education for all. “Those who are being excluded are the poor, children of farmers and daily-wage labourers. We are trying to prevent it from happening. We want the students to be able to enrol themselves to the top institutes, but this government is working against it,” he added before his speech was cut short by the altercation.
Shashi Bhushan Pandey, the visually-impaired student who was allegedly beaten brutally by the police said that the media needs to understand how important its role is and stop selling themselves out. "They need to apologise for what the government and the police have done. PM Modi might even lose power because of actions like these. Because they do not deserve to govern this country. It is not just JNU where students are protesting. Students across the country are plagued with fee hikes and non-existent or anti-education administration," added Shashi, a member of the JNUSU.
The press meet was disrupted numerous times as some reporters kept accusing the students of lecturing rather than not answering their questions. The continued disruptions led to a scuffle among the journalists themselves — the students chanted “Godi media, go back!”