JNU attack triggers nationwide outrage; no arrests yet

JNU attack triggers nationwide outrage; no arrests yet

The violence in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) triggered a nationwide outrage on Monday with students of several higher education institutions holding protests across the country in solidarity with those beaten up and severely injured by a large group of masked men in fist-ever such mayhem created on the campus of the central varsity last evening.

The incident, which left at least 30 students and a faculty member of the JNU critically injured, drew wider condemnation from cross-sections of the society including actors, business tycoons and rights activists as the students shared first-person account of the horrific incident.

In solidarity with JNU students, protests were held at Pondicherry University, Bangalore University, University of Hyderabad, Aligarh Muslim University, University of Mumbai, Delhi University, Ambedkar University, Banaras Hindu University, Chandigarh University, National Law University in Bengaluru, Savitri Bai Phule University in Pune, TISS Mumbai, Jadavpur University, Presidency University, Kolkata and IIT Bombay.

Opposition parties strongly condemned the violence with West Bengal Chief Mamata Banerjee terming it a “fascist surgical strike” and Indian Youth Congress taking out a torchlight procession up to India Gate against “many unfolded aspects of the brutal attack in JNU campus.”

Nobel economy prize winner Abhijit Banerjee, a JNU alumni, said the attacks had "echoes of the years when Germany was moving towards Nazi rule".

“It doesn't matter what your politics are. It doesn't matter what your ideology is. It doesn't matter what your faith is. If you're an Indian, you cannot tolerate armed, lawless goons. Those who invaded JNU tonight must be traced & hunted down swiftly & given no quarter," Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra tweeted, expressed concern over the incident.

Students and faculty members of the JNU alleged that both police personnel and private security guards of the varsity remained "mute spectators" as the masked men entered the varsity in their presence and went on rampage.

“It was an organised attack. They were singling out people and attacking. There is a clear nexus between JNU security (staff) and vandals. They did not intervene to stop violence," JNU Students Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh, who suffered a severe injury in her head, told reporters.

They also demanded “immediate” removal of the vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar from his post and restoration of peace in the campus, accusing him of allowing “ABVP goons” to unleash terror on the students protesting against the hostel fee hike and other issues. The demand got support from a number of opposition leaders as well as NDA ally JD (U).

Delhi Police, which registered an FIR, based on the complaints from the victims and the JNU administration, denied the allegations. It has now handed over the case to the Crime Branch for investigation, claiming that they have found “vital clues” in the case. But, no arrest was made in connection with the case till the filing of this report.

Swinging into action, HRD ministry held deliberations with the JNU administration officials to resolve the row but shared no details about the meeting.

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