DCP (Crime) Joy Tirkey releasing photos of the suspects during the press conference. | Image Courtesy: Livemint
After the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) violence on January 5 that sent shivers down the spines of the people across the nation, the Delhi Police on Friday conducted a press conference to declare the names of possible suspects in the case. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Joy Tirkey, along with another DCP Mandeep Randhawa, addressed the reporters and apprised them of the investigation conducted so far.
Tirkey said that they have identified nine suspects so far who may have been involved in the violence. The list comprises of JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) President Aishe Ghosh and other students namely Vaskar Vijay Mech, Chunchun Kumar, Pankaj Mishra, Sucheta Talukdar, Priya Ranjan, Dolan Samanta, Yogendra Bhardwaj, and Vikas Patel. Tirkey said that they have not detained anyone, but would send notices for interrogation soon. However, during the press conference and in the subsequent document released, Tirkey named Students' Federation of India (SFI), All India Students’ Federation (AISF), All India Students' Association (AISA) and Democratic Students' Federation (DSF).
Interestingly, these are the organisations that had formed the ‘Left Unity’ previous year and won students’ union elections. The police did not mention Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). Secondly, the document showed Ghosh marked with a circle and a comment reads, "JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh with the red bag is seen in the video of Periyar Hostel Vandalism. Leading her masked violent comrade gang in hostels." The term "violent masked comrade gang" gives an impression which suggests that the conclusion has already been derived. The questions also revolves around the selection of footages. Third, the police have erroneously showed the picture of a boy holding a stick, naming him Vikas Patel, but students allege that it was the picture of ABVP activist Shiv Poojan Mandal. The police later rectified the mistake and posted the actual picture of Vikas Patel. However, they remained silent on the involvement of Shiv Poojan Mandal. Interestingly, Mandal and Patel along with other men could be seen in the picture below.
The students allege that the police have shown photographs from January 4, and not January 5 when the outsiders entered the campus and wreaked havoc in the university. Talking to NewsClick, Dolan Samanta, a suspect, said, “My picture was taken at the School of Social Sciences Building on the morning of January 5 when the women students had formed a human chain to prevent the violence by ABVP. We had already seen the violence previous day where three of the students including JNUSU Secretary Satish Chandra Yadav had sustained severe injuries. Why are they not revealing that we had sent videos and pictures to the police officials identifying the people who were responsible for the violence? They did not utter a word about it. However, we have full faith in Constitution and expect that justice will be delivered."
The questions are also being raised over the conduct of vice chancellor and state broadcaster Prasar Bharati. Prasar Bharati had tweeted, “Video bears witness to #JNU VC @mamidala90's statement that those opposing registration for Winter session of #JNU are behind violence to scuttle the academic process of varsity." However, the person blowing punches onto another student was identified as ABVP activist Sharvender, a third-year PhD student at the Centre for West Asian Studies, School of International Studies (SIS), JNU.
Also read: ‘Make Public Whatever Proof Against Me’, Reacts Aishe, Says She Has ‘Faith in Law’