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4 Years of Mob Attack in JNU: Admin, Delhi Police Hopelessly Failed us, says JNUTA

The campus witnessed a violent attack by masked attackers wielding lathis amidst a students’ movement against the proposed fee hike.
JNU violenc

The students and teachers injured in the attack had accused Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad, a student organisation affiliated to RSS, for the violence. (File photo)


New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) lashed out at the university administration and Delhi Police for not taking appropriate action against masked attackers who unleashed terror in the prestigious campus four years ago. The campus witnessed a violent attack by masked attackers amidst a students’ movement where protesters maintained that the proposed fee hike would have made JNU most expensive central university in the country.

The teachers, too, had expressed concerns over the muzzling of independent voices among the teaching community by then Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Mamidala. The students and teachers injured in the attack had accused Right wing body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad, a student organisation affiliated with Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) for the violence.

After recording the statements of the victims in initial days of enquiry, the Delhi Police, in subsequent action, could not gather the data about the members of WhatsApp groups “Friends of RSS” and “Unity against Left” where the planning for attack took place.

WhatsApp, a company owned by US tech major Meta, refused to share any information about the members of the group. Google had asked the Delhi Police to furnish a Letter Rogatory under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). The company clarified that it would preserve the data about the members but it needed to follow the rules of the US where it is registered and require an order by the foreign court to share the information.

Recalling the horrors of the dreadful night, D K Lobiyal, president, JNUTA told NewsClick said that Delhi Police and the university administration never showed interest in delivering justice to victims of the violence, which included teachers and students.

“What’s perturbing is that we filed complaint in the matter despite worldwide coverage of violence. Leave the question of filing the chargesheet in the matter, it is obvious that it has not completed the investigation yet,” he said.

In a statement, Lobiyal said the absence of any effective action vindicates our position that the JNU administration and Delhi Police were complicit in the violence.

“This is the obvious conclusion to be arrived at as from the fact that the mob was allowed to run riot despite the presence of both the JNU Security (Cyclops) and the Police on campus and their prior awareness about the direction things were heading in, no preventive measures were put into place to prevent the violence. Not only did they fail to respond to several calls for help and action during the incident, video recordings that became public also showed the mob being ‘escorted’ out of the JNU main gate by the Police.

He further said that the “callous attitude of the then Vice- Chancellor towards those who suffered serious injuries, and reports of the ‘assistance’ the mob had received from other members of his administration, further serve to establish that the violence was encouraged, if not deliberately organised, with the purpose of ‘teaching a lesson’ to students and faculty who were protesting against the exorbitant hike in hostel fees.”

Avinash Kumar, who teaches at the Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, said: “Both the JNU Administration and the Delhi Police have hopelessly failed JNU in relation to the mob violence four years ago is reflective of a larger malaise gripping the nation, of a perversion of the course of justice – where ‘law enforcement’ has a permissive attitude towards a certain kind of lawlessness, and both work in tandem to throttle the open and public exercise of democratic rights rather than uncovering and prosecuting the real crimes and criminals.”

“We know of people who have been a part of JNU and are incarcerated simply on account of their political positions, without any evidence of their involvement in any criminal activity, by the Delhi Police’s misuse of the law. We also know how a chargesheet already stayed by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court, where even the alleged ‘charge’ was nothing more than participation in a peaceful protest, continues to be used by the JNU Administration to persecute faculty colleagues. Then of course are the penalties on students flowing from several proctorial ‘inquiries’ into protests, and the renewal of the contract of that same security agency, namely Cyclops. The JNUTA is conscious of the fact that what transpired four years ago in JNU is a part of a larger story of putting down dissent through brute misuse of official power.”

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