Published: 06th January 2020
Police just stood there: JNU students recount Sunday's campus horrors
Police personnel were stationed on campus even before the violence started. There were 20 female students who were assaulted at Sabarmati T-Point
Mindless violence by masked men rocked the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday but students said that the stage was set the previous day when the security guards and ABVP activists, allegedly, beat up and molested the protesting students. But what happened on Sunday was a planned attack to "break the resistance" said some students.
The students present near the School of Social Sciences (SSS) said that they were suddenly attacked by masked assailants. A female activist of SFI was targetted, claimed those present at the spot. Her friends, in an attempt to save her, pushed back the miscreants.
The crowd moved to the administrative block next and assaulted anyone they encountered. "It was not like they were targetting just students from the Left-wing organisations," said Shubham Goswami, a student activist associated with the Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organisation (BASO). "In the process, they also hit a member of NSUI. Soon, NSUI student activists reached the spot and help those stuck in the library to get to their rooms safely," he added. There were few sporadic clashes but the miscreants fled towards the Periyar Hostel, said students.
Shubham was in front of the Periyar Hostel when the masked men came towards the hostel and the crowd followed them. Students were severely injured when the two parties clashed. JNUSU General Secretary, Satish Chandra Yadav said that there were students inside the hostel who were involved in stone-pelting as well. Meanwhile, the JNUTA had called for a peace march to appeal for non-violence on campus. "The mob moved to Sabarmati T-Point, the starting point of the march after the lectures," said Shubham.
Prakash (name changed), a student of SSS, was at the Sabarmati T-Point when he saw a mob of 15-20 masked assailants running towards him. "They started throwing stones at us. There were panic-stricken students and teachers everywhere. I got stuck at the restaurant and could see the masked men right in front of me," said Prakash. "While they were thrashing people one of their masks fell off. I recognised him. I had seen him before at many of these ABVP meetings and rallies in JNU. He was a student," he added.
There were 20 female students at that spot then. "They (assailants) hit them (women) without any inhibition. This is where JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh was attacked. Then the mob moved towards Sabarmati and Tapti hostel," said Prakash. He also alleged that there were police personnel deployed on campus, in excess than regular court-mandated guards of the administration building. "There were 40-50 police officers, both men and women, near the Godavari Bus stop but they were just silent spectators at first and then even participated in assaulting the students," he added.
The violence was on till 8.30 PM and sporadic clashes continued even after that. The police, who wanted to flag march across the campus, met heavy resistance from the students. Chants of 'Go back Delhi Police' echoed through the campus till early morning.