Delhi police on Monday registered a First Information Report (FIR) in connection with the violence that broke out in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday.
Masked men armed with sticks and rods attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in police, on Sunday. At least 28 people, including JNU Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured as chaos reigned on the campus for nearly two hours.
A case of arson and assault has been filed against the unknown miscreants. The case will be transferred to the Crime Branch later in the day, police sources said.
Eyewitnesses alleged the attackers entered the JNU premises when a meeting was being held by JNU Teachers' Association on the issue of violence on campus and assaulted students and professors. They also barged into three hostels. Video footage aired by some TV channels showed a group of men, who were brandishing hockey sticks and rods, moving around a building.
The Left-controlled JNUSU and the RSS-backed ABVP blamed each other for the incident.
Several prominent names from the film industry as well as politicians including finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman condemned the attack saying in no way can the act be justified. Union home minister Amit Shah asked the Delhi police to take necessary actions.
JNU, in a statement on Sunday, said that students opposing the semester registration process "moved aggressively" in a bid to stop those supporting the process, triggering a clash.
It warned that those who were "trying to disrupt a peaceful academic atmosphere of campus will not be spared".
Hub of Controversies
From being known as one of the most prominent educational institutes in the country to being one of the most controversial universities in India, JNU has travelled a long way within about three years.
The unwanted journey began with the infamous 2016 'Tukde-Tukde' episode which allegedly brought university the 'anti-national' tag which the varsity is yet to recover from.
It was in 2016 when the administration and students locked horns over holding an event against the hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Though the admin denied permission for the event, the students held a debate on February 9, 2016, during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, leading to several university students charged with sedition charges.
Another major controversy that the university has yet to get rid of is the unsolved case of a JNU student, Najeeb Ahmad, who went missing from the university campus after a brawl with members of RSS-affiliated ABVP.
Najeeb is not forgotten by the students of the university, as his name comes up in almost every protest, even in the latest defacement of administration block where walls of the admin block were painted with graffiti — Najeeb name found space in most walls. "Bring Back Najeeb," students wrote on the wall of the block.
Apart from Najeeb, the students and the administration have always found a way to initiate battle against each other, as in March 2019, the Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar levelled charges against students that they confined his wife inside his residence after they broke into the house, to protest against Mamidala's decision to ban protest in vicinity of administration block.
Just a few months later, the university administration announced that walls of the varsity will not be used to put up posters or to write slogans for any protest. The students saw the step as an attempt to cut-short their right to expression, while the university admin argued that it was a step to stop defacement of the university's property.
The matter was still on the boil when the hostel draft manual was dropped by the administration.
JNU administration's hostel draft manual, which proposed a hike in hostel fee along with other changes like hostel curfew timings, dress code for the mess, became a subject of yet another controversy.
In attempts to oppose the administration's "anti-student" policy, hundreds of JNU students protested for weeks, bringing the city to halt by raising anti-government and anti-administration slogans and even clashing with the police, forcing the authorities to deploy police and paramilitary personnel at several areas.
(With inputs from PTI)