A day after a masked mob wielding sticks, rods and sledgehammers attacked Jawaharlal Nehru University leaving 31 students injured, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Monday condemned the violence.
Speaking to the media in Lucknow, Akhilesh alleged that the attack was planned and blamed the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of RSS, and the BJP for the violence.
Masked people went on a rampage inside JNU on Sunday, injuring 31 students, two teachers and two guards. Delhi police are yet to make a single arrest in the case.
The SP chief said that the police and the Central government knew about the “conspiracy”.
“It (the attack) was planned as they (the mob) knew about the hostel location of their targets. The students’ union president suffered serious injuries. Several professors and staff were also beaten up with sticks and something that looked like a hammer. Soon I got to know about this and turned on the TV. I saw that Yogendra Yadav was also manhandled. People of a particular mentality want to change the JNU as per their thinking,” said Akhilesh.
He said that the violence was an attempt by the ABVP to gain a foothold in the JNU Students’ Union.
“In JNU, ABVP members have not been successful in entering the students’ union. They want to hijack the students’ union and the university. The BJP knows how it can spread political propaganda… The conspiracy is to destroy the renowned university. It has nothing to do with education. It was a well-planned attack and the BJP can attack anyone through anyone,” said the former chief minister.
He criticised Delhi Police for waiting outside the JNU campus until the mob was finished with the three-hour rampage. He wondered if this was how the police had acted during the anti-citizenship law protests at Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Milia Islamia.
Asked about Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s charge that the Opposition was involved in the recent violence against the new citizenship law, he said that the BJP was lying and misleading the people. “If anyone is responsible for riots, mainly in Uttar Pradesh, it is the BJP government,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, condemning the attack, Mayawati demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter.
Earlier in the day, she sent a letter to Governor Anandiben Patel repeating her demand of a high level inquiry into the recent incidents of violence during anti-citizenship law protests.
“There were a lot of serious protests against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and my party BSP has been standing with the people. We have always been opposing this law which gives citizenship on the basis of religion and find it discriminatory and anti-Constitution. A lot of people are opposed to the law. Though protests were mainly peaceful, there was a loss of life and property through violence, arson and firing in Uttar Pradesh. First, the police and then the state government blamed the protesters, and later the state government decide to take “revenge”. Under this, a lot of people have been sent to jail,” the letter read.