Violence in university campus as masked men attack students, teachers; police called in

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JNU SEES RED

NEW DELHI, Jan 5 (AGENCIES): Violence broke out at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday night after masked men armed with sticks attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in police.

At least 18 people were injured and admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

JNU Students’ Union president Aishe Ghosh suffered a head injury. The JNU administration said “masked miscreants armed with sticks were roaming around, damaging property and attacking people”.

The Left-controlled JNUSU and the ABVP blamed each other for the violence that continued for nearly two hours.

As chaos prevailed on the campus, JNU registrar Pramod Kumar said in a statement, “This is an urgent message for the entire JNU community that there is a law and order situation on the campus…. The JNU Administration has called the police to maintain order.”

“This is the moment to remain calm and be on the alert…. Efforts are already being made to tackle the miscreants,” he added. The violence occurred while a public meeting by the JNU Teachers’ Association was being held.

The students’ union alleged that its members, including Ghosh, were injured in stone pelting by ABVP members. But the RSS-backed students’ organisation alleged that its members were brutally attacked by Left-affiliated student outfits and 25 of them were injured. The JNUSU claimed that “ABVP members wearing masks were moving around on the campus with lathis, rods and hammers”.

“They are pelting bricks…getting into hostels and beating up students. Several teachers and students have also been beaten up,” the JNUSU claimed.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) alleged that Left student organisations SFI, AISA and DSF were behind the violence.

“Around 25 students have been seriously injured in the attack and there is no information about whereabouts of 11 students. Many ABVP members are being attacked in hostels and the hostels are being vandalised by the Leftist goons,” the ABVP said.

The opposition Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) latched onto the violence to target the ruling BJP. Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal condemned the incident and said the situation was being “closely monitored”.

“The violence in JNU against students and teachers is highly condemnable. Directed @DelhiPolice to take all possible steps in coordination with JNU Administration to maintain law and order & take action against the perpetrators of violence. The situation is being closely monitored,” he tweeted.

The Congress alleged that the attack on JNU students by masked miscreants was “state-sponsored mayhem”.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “I am so shocked to know about the violence at JNU. Students attacked brutally. Police should immediately stop violence and restore peace. How will the country progress if our students will not be safe inside univ campus?” Kejriwal said he also spoke to the L-G over the issue.

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