Two men were arrested on Sunday for allegedly threatening to attack Jawaharlal Nehru University on Independence Day. They had uploaded a video on Facebook, the police said.
The accused have been identified as Vikas Sehrawat (30), who can be heard making the threatening statement in the alleged inflammatory video, and Raja Kumar, both residents of Uttam Nagar.
According to the police, Sehrawat was arrested earlier for allegedly threatening and using foul language on senior Delhi Congress leader and former MLA Alka Lamba in a video.
He told police that he has been associated with the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) since 2018. The police, however, said they are verifying his credentials.
Sehrawat has no association with JNU and made the video to seek attention, the police said. Kumar is the owner of the phone from which the video was uploaded.
“We received a PCR call from a JNU student on Sunday at 1.51 a.m. at Vasant Kunj (North) police station stating that a video has been uploaded on Facebook page ‘Mahakal Youth Brigade’ alleging that the university would be attacked,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-West) Ingit Pratap Singh said.
After receiving the call, police personnel were deployed in plain clothes at all gates. A few other calls were also received in this regard, the police said.
“The students came to the police station and filed a complaint. The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) office-bearers wrote a similar complaint where they alleged that the video promotes disharmony and enmity, using inflammatory language and also openly issuing threats of physical hurt,” the DCP said.
Later in the day, JNU Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar said the campus was safe and there was nothing to fear.
“The campus is safe. We celebrated the 75th Independence Day today [Sunday]. There is absolutely nothing to fear,” he said.
Whenever such things happen, security is ramped up, the V-C said. “I myself went around the campus to see the situation and everything is normal,” he added.
In its police complaint, the JNUSU said an “open call to gather and march into the JNU campus on August 15 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., to hoist the saffron flag” was given in the videos.
A case registered against the threat video under sections of the Indian Penal Code, the police said, adding that an investigation is under way.
Last year’s violence
On January 5 last year, a mob of masked miscreants had stormed the campus and targeted students in three hostels, unleashing a mayhem with sticks, stones and iron rods, hitting inmates and breaking windows, furniture and personal belongings.
While clamour grew for the V-C’s removal after the incident, the Delhi police faced criticism for inaction when the mob was running riot on the campus.