At least 26 students and teachers were injured after masked men wielding sticks, rods and sledgehammers terrorised Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for close to three hours on Sunday evening. Eyewitnesses and many of those injured said the men, who as per some estimates numbered around 100, were mostly outsiders and belonged to the ABVP — a charge the RSS student outfit denied.
Students and faculty members of JNU also accused police of failing to stop the mob from unleashing violence, despite frantic calls from them. Meanwhile, messages urging people to “thrash the anti-nationals” in JNU allegedly did rounds of some WhatsApp groups in the hours leading up to the violence.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah ordered the Delhi Police to hold an inquiry, as the HRD Ministry condemned the incident, blaming outsiders for it, and said: “anarchy will not be tolerated”. While all Opposition parties condemned the violence, blaming “fascist” forces, the BJP called it “a desperate attempt by forces of anarchy, who are determined to use students as cannon fodder, create unrest to shore up their shrinking political footprint”.
A timeline of how violence unfolded on JNU campus
3:45 PM: First news of masked men collecting at Periyar Hostel. SFI activist beaten up.
4 PM JNUTA’s peace march begins at Sabarmati T-point. Teachers and students in attendance.
5:30 PM News begins to trickle in of masked persons roaming around on campus. First PCR call by student at 5.57 pm
6:15 PM Amit Thorat, a teacher, heads to Periyar hostel to check. Rushes back after he is beaten up by the masked men
6:30 PM Mob moves towards the JNUTA site. Teachers attempt to engage in dialogue but are met with stones and lathis. Several injured.
7:30 PM JNUSU head Aishe Ghosh attacked while telling students not to panic.
Till 9 PM mob runs riot inside 7 hostels.
Police presence was increased outside the gate by 10.45 pm and the crowd was moved out to the road opposite the gate. Streetlights were turned on by 11 pm. By Sunday night, over 700 policemen were present on the campus.
Among those injured were 22 students, including JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh, two teachers, and two guards, who have been admitted to AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital.
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