Scores of students, including JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, and several teachers were beaten up on the JNU campus on Sunday evening.
Masked men and women, armed with sticks and stones, went around the campus, entering hostels, beating up students and teachers and smashing cars.
A video of a bleeding Ms. Ghosh was posted on Twitter while the JNUSU claimed in a statement that a large number of ABVP activists had entered the campuswith iron rods and told to “single out” students’ representatives.
Sources at the AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital said that over 35 students and teachers were treated for injuries sustained during the violence.
“You can judge how scary a situation it was from the videos and photos that are being shared. I was in my hostel room when people with their faces coveredentered and started breaking things with sticks and metal rods. I did not recognize any of them but they were on a mission to spread fear,” a BA student of the university, said.
Ayesha Kidwai, a professor teaching at JNU, told The Hindu that one of her colleagues, Sucharita Sen, had been beaten up and suffered head injuries. “Sheis being treated at the trauma centre,” Dr. Kidwai said.
Joint Commissioner of Police Anand Mohan said two groups of students had clashed on the campus, and the police were called in by the administration. “We conducted a flag march. The situation is under control. The injured have been moved to AIIMS,” Mr. Mohan said.
In a statement, the JNU administration said the police had been called to “maintain order.”
Several teachers said ABVP activists had entered the campus and indulged in violence. “Female students have lockedthemselves up inside the girls’ wing in Sabarmati Hostel. These attackers are roaming the corridors armed with rods and sticks…we are under attack,” the JNUSU said calling for help and sharing videos of the violence on campus.
“Professors who were trying to protect us have been beaten up. These are unknown ABVP goons, not all are students, they have covered their faces, and aremoving towards the…West Gate. Stay alert. Make human chains. Protect each other,” another tweet from the Union added. There were also allegations that policemen were inside the campus and did nothing as the ABVP activists beat up students.
The BJP blamed the Opposition parties for the violence, saying it was they who had politicised the campuses.
Efforts, they said, were “being made to tackle the miscreants”.
Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav was also roughed up outside the JNU campus by a mob just as he was addressing the media. “You can see what is happeningto me outside, just imagine what must be going on inside the campus,” he was heard saying. The Hindu reporters were able to verify that the crowd, which roughed up Mr. Yadav included BJP workers.
On its part, the ABVP blamed Left groups for the violence in JNU. “Leftist goons of JNU accompained [sic] with their cadre from other universities have crossed every limit. They have proceeded with unimaginable violence on ABVP activists of JNU,” the ABVP’s JNU unit said in tweet.
Separately, the Human Resource Development Ministry tweeted saying that it had come to Ministry's notice that a group of masked people entered the JNU campus today,threw stones, damaged property and attacked students. “This is very unfortunate and highly condemnable, such acts of violence and anarchy will not be tolerated,” the MHRD said.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal tweeted, “The violence in JNU against students and teachers is highly condemnable. Directed
@DelhiPolice totake 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.”
Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he was “shocked” by the violence in JNU. He called on the police to immediately stop violence andrestore peace in JNU.