Simmering tensions in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) escalated into major violence on Sunday evening when masked goons went around the campus, entering Sabarmati and Periyar hostels, and assaulted students and teachers with lathis, rods and hammers. Sources said at least 30 people, including JNU Students’ Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured.
The assault by 50-70 thugs began around 7pm and soon escalated beyond control, prompting the university administration to call in the police. The attack, coming a day before an expected announcement of assembly elections in the city, immediately led to outrage outside the campus, with hundreds gathering outside the old Delhi Police headquarters at ITO late on Sunday.
Left groups and ABVP blamed each other for the violence even as Union home minster Amit Shah ordered a joint CP-level enquiry and asked for a report as soon as possible. A statement by JNU registrar Pramod Kumar said the violence started around 4.30pm when “agitating students” attacked those in favour of registration.
However, many on campus had a different take. They said, around 4pm, there was some violence during a JNU Teachers’ Association march against alleged manhandling of students. “A fight broke out between Left-leaning students and ABVP supporters but ended there. But, around 7pm, masked goons with lathis and rods attacked the protesting students and teachers near Sabarmati. They entered the hostel, broke glasses and beat up anyone in the vicinity. Even teachers weren’t spared,” said a PhD scholar.
Inputs from TOI