JNU violence: Cops blame Left groups, omit ABVP

Delhi Police release the photographs of suspects in JNU violence . pti

The Delhi Police on Friday blamed four Left student organisations for incidents that led to the attack of “masked goons” at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Briefing the media for the first time on the January 5 violence, the police also omitted reference to the ABVP, though two from the organisation figure on its list of nine student suspects.

The police provided very few details about the violence by "masked goons", but named JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh, who was injured in the attack, as a suspect. None have been detained but notices will be sent to them to join the investigation soon.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Joy Tirkey, who heads the Special Investigation Team, and Delhi Police spokesperson M S Randhawa did not take questions during the 24-minute press briefing, as they said it was the first of a series of interactions the police would have with media on the episode.

The police did not respond to queries about why the ABVP was not named, while they had identified the SFI, AISA, AISF and DSF. They gave a sequence of events from January 3, leading to the violence on Sunday evening (January 5), accusing the Left students of damaging the varsity server and threatening students who wanted to complete their registration process.

Randhawa said the protesting Left students did not abide by the “lawful” instructions of police and were creating inconvenience to public. However, there was no mention of the affiliation of the those involved in the violence, in which at least 34 students and teachers were attacked by "masked goons", said to be from ABVP and other Hindutva outfits.

Of the nine students named as suspects, seven are from Left outfits and two from the ABVP. The police are investigating three FIRs — two against Left students, including Ghosh, for alleged violence on January 3 and 4, and one against those involved in the January 5 violence.

Besides Ghosh, the others who have been named are JNUSU councillor Sucheta Talukdar, Pankaj Mishra, Vaskar Vijay, Priya Ranjan, Dolan Samanta and Chunchun Kumar (all affiliated to Left outfits), Yogendra Yadav and Vikas Patel.

There is, however, a mismatch as Shiv Poojan Mandal is identified as Vikas Patel in the photos shared widely on social media since the violence erupted. Both Patel and Mandal are identified as ABVP activists.

While the police identified Bharadwaj as the administrator of a WhatsApp group 'Unity of Left', which was "formed" around 5.30 pm on the day of the violence, Ghosh is identified by Tirkey as the one who was seen near Periyar Hostel during violence in the afternoon before the attack of "masked goons" later. Kumar, who is identified as a former student and an AISA activist, is shown to be armed with a stick and throwing a stone.

Tirkey identified four Left outfits as the ones which created trouble that led to the violence and said there was “so much anxiety” among a large number of students as the former used to prevent and even “threaten” when they attempted to register.

He said that on January 5 morning, Left students had beaten up four students and later in the evening, they targeted Periyar Hostel during which Ghosh and others were present, indicating that those affiliated with the Left were behind it.

Later, around 7 pm, when it was “slightly dark”, he said, “masked” people targeted Sabarmati Hostel. In both the cases, he claimed, the attackers knew whom to target.

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