Attacked JNU teacher feels police won’t find culprits


Amit Thorat claims both police and varsity security apparatus complicit in ensuring gang invasion into campus

The undulating Aravalli range which hosts the Jawaharlal Nehru University is perfect for biking. In the afternoon of January 5, Amit Thorat, Assistant Professor of the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, took his red bike to the meeting where a part of the JNU teachers community and the students led by the JNU Students Union sat to discuss the future of anti-fee hike agitation.

As the meeting rolled into the evening, the gathering decided to walk carrying placards and posters for dialogue towards the Periyar hostel which falls near the main entrance of the campus. As the meeting turned into a small rally, they were told that a group of outsiders had entered the campus and were now standing near the gate of Periyar hostel. Sucheta Talukdar, student of the Centre for Historical Studies, and her friends who were passing by Periyar when a hail of bricks hit them. They ran towards the rally and sounded the alert that a large gang was waiting for them at the Periyar hostel gate.

To check the situation from the backyard of Periyar, Dr. Thorat took his bike and parted from the gathering for few minutes. The lights had gone off inside the campus and what he saw in the twilight glow froze him. “There were around 50 to 60 boys swinging big sticks and rods and swinging them in the air and sitting on the road. They had faces covered with handkerchiefs,” said Mr. Thorat recollecting the eerie sight.

Clicks photo

“It was like a horror movie because at that point I thought these were not students of the campus and they had come inside to do something dangerous,” he said. The gathering of masked intruders had not noticed Mr. Thorat till that point. Sensing the opportunity, Mr. Thorat took out a smart phone from his winter jacket’s point and clicked photograph. In the dark, the phone camera used the flash and drew attention of the armed gang.

“Within seconds they surrounded me and demanded to know how many photographs had I clicked. I took out the phone and deleted the photograph. But by then they began to hit me on shoulder, hands and on the back of my head,” said Mr. Thorat.

Thankfully, the blows were softened by the heavy winter jacket and the woollen cap, but the blow on his right shoulder has kept Mr. Thorat in pain since January 5 evening. Another part of the armed group, had by then split away and had begun to batter the teachers and students who were sitting near the Sabarmati Hostel where Mr. Thorat’s colleagues and students, including JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh, was brutally assaulted with iron rods and hockey sticks.

Four days later, Mr. Thorat recorded his experience with the Crime Branch of Delhi police on Wednesday but he doesn’t think that the police will find the culprits or find the real plotters of the assault on the campus. He maintains that both the police and the university security apparatus had been complicit in ensuring the execution of the invasion of the campus by armed gang members.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:18:22 AM |

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