Published: 18th January 2023
JNU associate professor allegedly attacked by group of men
JNUTA said it was dismayed at the state of law and order in Delhi and the entire JNU community stands in solidarity with Dr Das, who has been subjected to this experience
On Tuesday, January 17, an associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) alleged that last week, he was "attacked" by a group of six to seven men near RK Puram Marg in Delhi. A complaint has been filed at the Vasant Kunj police station by Dr Saitya Brata Das of the Centre for English Studies. "We have received the complaint and are looking into the matter," a senior police officer stated.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration has been urged to support Das and put active pressure on the Delhi Police to ensure that action is taken against the criminal gang in response to the alleged incident. According to Das' narration of the incident to PTI, on the afternoon of Saturday, January 14, a motorcycle struck his car from behind at a traffic signal in RK Puram and he was surrounded by a group of six to seven men. "I was coming from DPS RK Puram on Palam Marg and stopped at the red light at Vasant Vihar (under the flyover near Vasant Vihar depot) around 3.20 pm. A motorcycle suddenly banged into my car from behind and I saw a man falling down," he told PTI.
"I was shocked to see a motorcycle bang a car when the car is at a red light. Suddenly, out of nowhere, six more people surrounded my car, asked me to get out of my car and demanded money. I immediately recalled the fake accident incident with my colleague at JNU Sharad Bhaviskar a few months back. I did not wait for the green signal and immediately drove fast and entered JNU. I stopped at the main gate to tell the security guards to call the police," he added.
Das was referring to an incident involving Sharad Bhaviskar, an assistant professor at JNU, who was allegedly held hostage by a group of people for several hours and subjected to physical assault, threats and extortion after a traffic altercation in June 2022.
Das continued alleging that the gang had followed him to the North Gate of the university and, in the presence of JNU security, had surrounded his car to compel him into getting out. He claimed that they threatened to set the car on fire and kept kicking it. According to Das, the gang allegedly got his phone number from JNU security and used it to harass him all night with extortion demands.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association (JNUTA) expressed its shock and dismay at Delhi's law and order situation in a statement on Tuesday. "The entire JNU community stands in full solidarity with Dr Saitya Brata Das, who has been subjected to this intensely traumatising experience, and share his anguish and outrage at this vicious and premeditated attack," the teachers' body said. "The JNUTA demands the university administration at the highest levels extends all support to Dr Saitya Brata Das, and actively puts pressure on Delhi Police to ensure that action is taken against the criminal gang behind this attack," it added, stated a report by PTI.