Hindu Raksha Dal takes responsibility for JNU attack

Hindu Raksha Dal Chief Pinky Chaudhary. (ANI photo)

A little-known 'Hindu Raksha Dal' on Tuesday claimed "full responsibility" for the attack on students and teachers in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) even as Delhi Police faced questions over registering two cases against varsity students union president Aishe Ghosh, who was badly injured in the violence by "masked goons".

The registration of cases on two separate complaints against Ghosh and other students filed by JNU security department on January 3 and January 4 came only on Sunday night when the campus witnessed violence, triggering suspicion about the motive of the move.

While the FIRs against Ghosh and others were registered between 8:44 PM and 8:49 PM on Sunday after the JNUSU president was admitted to AIIMS, the case on the Sunday violence was registered on Monday 5:36 AM against "unknown" persons. The Sunday violence case has been transferred to the Crime Branch.

Questions are being raised over the registration of FIRs on Sunday while the complaints were filed on the previous days. Students allege that it was an afterthought, as a nationwide outrage erupted as soon as the violence was reported.

Similar questions were also raised about the Hindu Raksha Dal taking "full responsibility" for the Sunday violence as many saw this as an attempt to shield activists of ABVP, whom students and others accused of being the perpetrators of the Sunday attack.

The Hindutva outfit's claim was first posted in social media on Monday, which went viral since then. Hindu Raksha Dal chief Bhupendra Tomar alias Pinky Chaudhury claiming that those who resort to "anti-national activities" will be treated in the same way that JNU students and faculty were.

"For several years, JNU has been a bastion of communists and we will not tolerate it. Hindu Raksha Dal, Bhupendra Tomar (alias) Pinky Chaudhury take the responsibility of what has happened in JNU...all of them were our volunteers. Those who cannot do such work for Mother India don't have the right to live in this country," he said in the video. He also told TV channels that the members of outfit's Delhi unit were behind the attack,

Chaudhary said the outfit has been fighting for the cause of "Hindutva and national interest" for long and would divulge more details at an appropriate time. "We were watching the atmosphere prevailing in the country. Everyone is supporting those chanting anti-national slogans. What kind of conspiracy is this?"

Asked for proof, he said only his outfit has the strength and courage to do this. "When I take responsibility, the responsibility is mine," he said. Police said it has taken cognizance of the claim and investigating it.

Officials also said investigators are taking the help of video footage and face recognition system to identify those involved in the violence. Officials from the Forensic Science Laboratory's Physics, Chemistry and Biology divisions also went to JNU to collect evidence in connection with the violence in the varsity campus that left 34 people injured.

Officials said Physics team is tasked with collecting evidence such as rods and stones used by the mob while the Chemistry team has been assigned to collect samples of chemicals, if there are any, following allegations that acid was also thrown. The biology team will collect DNA samples. A computer forensics team is likely to visit the campus on Wednesday to analyse CCTV footage.

Police also issued a public appeal seeking "pictures, footage or any information" related to about Sunday's violence in the campus. Joint Commissioner of Police (Western Range) Shalini Singh, who is heading an official fact-finding committee, also visited the campus and interacted with the students and teachers.

A large number of police personnel were deployed outside the campus. Police has barricaded the gates and only visitors with valid identity cards were allowed entry.

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