Sting Operation: 'ABVP' student owns up to JNU attack

Sting Operation: 'ABVP' student owns up to JNU attack

Protesters scuffle with police officers as they detain demonstrators during a protest march against the attacks on the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), in New Delhi. (Credit: Reuters)

On the day police revealed little about the "masked" people behind the Sunday violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a sting operation on Friday showed two ABVP activists in the varsity purportedly claiming that they were part of the mob that targeted students and teachers.

An AISA activist was also caught on camera purportedly accepting that she was part of the protesters who shut down the server in the university on January 4, a day before the attack by the violent mob.

India Today news channel showed Akshat Awasthi, a first-year student of French in JNU, claiming that the Sunday evening attack was in retaliation for an assault by the Left students on Periyar hostel on Sunday afternoon. "It was a reaction to their action," he was quoted by the channel as saying.

Awasthi, who identified himself as an ABVP activist, also showed video footage of the Sunday's attack to the under-cover reporters of the channel and identified himself in the footage. In the video, he was seen running through the hostel and targeting those who came in his way.

ABVP said Awasthi is "neither an office-bearer nor a karyakarta (activist) of ABVP, as claimed by India Today. This is a smear campaign run by India Today to deviate everyone from the facts put forth by Delhi Police proving that it as the Left which was behind JNU violence".

Awasthi told the reporter that he pulled out the stick from a flag. When asked whether he hit someone, he purportedly said, "there was a man with a flowing beard. He looked like a Kashmiri. I beat him up and then broke the gate."

He also claimed he organised people in a matter of hours and named ABVP office-bearers from a different campus outside.

"I can tell you that I did all the mobilisation. They don't have that much mind. You know you need to act like a superintendent or a commander. Why it is to be done and where exactly. I guided them about everything—where to hide, where to go. I told them to do everything systematically. I did not have any position or a tag. Still, they listened to me carefully," he was quoted as saying.

Awasthi also claimed that a policeman encouraged them to beat up students belonging to Left organisations.

Another student Rohit Shah, who is a French first-year degree student, also purportedly supported Awasthi by giving him his helmet for safety when he smashed glasses. He claimed the attackers did not touch rooms belonging to ABVP students.

The undercover reporters got Geeta Kumari, a former JNUSU president, on-camera purportedly admitting that she was part of the group of protesters who were involved in the shutting of university servers. Her name appears in two FIRs related to the shutting down of servers.

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