New Delhi, January 10 (The Hindu): Five days after masked goons, allegedly belonging to right-wing outfits, thrashed students and teachers in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the Delhi Police claimed at a “press conference” on Friday that they had identified “nine suspects” in the attack.
Not a single arrest has been made so far by the police and they have been accused of standing around when the masked mob made good their escape from the campus on Sunday night after the attack.
Joy Tirkey, DCP (Crime) and head of the special investigation team formed to investigate the violence, released pictures of the ‘suspects’ that they had allegedly obtained from mobile recordings.
He targeted four Left groups as being responsible for the violence but did not mention the ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) even once. Earlier, the police had described the violence as a “clash” between two groups.
Both Mr. Tirkey and Mandeep Randhawa, Delhi police spokesman, erred publicly in describing the Students Federation of India as Students “Front” of India on more than one occasion.
After the media briefing, Mr. Tirkey immediately rushed towards his car and refused to take questions. At the briefing, he ‘identified’ the students groups and unions that attacked the Periyar Hostel and server room but did not reveal the name of the groups involved in the attack on teachers and inside the Sabarmati Hostel.
Police and students outside the JNU campus, after an attack by some masked miscreants inside the campus on January 5, 2020.
All the photos released by police were in daylight while Sabarmati was attacked after sunset. The police did not throw any light on the masked miscreants photographed at Sabarmati.
Mr. Tirkey said, “A scuffle on January 5 was triggered when a group of students vandalised CIS room and damaged the server, resulting in delay in the registration process. Another group of students when opposed the act, got in the fight but it was timely intervened by security guards and they were dispersed.”
He said that at 3.45 p.m., a group of students attacked a room in Periyar. After this, a WhatsApp group (Unity Against Left) was formed at 5 p.m.
A large group of miscreants attacked teachers and students gathered at Sabarmati T-point for a peace meeting. The mob also attacked specific rooms in Sabarmati.
“We have also identified the administrator of the Whatsapp Group among the nine suspects. The investigation is yet to be concluded. We are identifying more suspects,” he said.
Mr. Tirkey stated that they have recorded the statement of security guards and hostel wardens to corroborate with the sequence of the incident. “No CCTV of the incident is available because CCTVs in JNU campus are connected to the server room through wifi. The server room was damaged on January 3.” .
However, when asked about the role of outsiders involved in the attack, he did not give a direct response but mentioned that it was difficult for an outsider to gain entry into the campus. “Only guests verified by the resident of the JNU get entry. We are scanning visitor records from the register and also verifying people seen in the mobile videos shot during the attack,” he said.
Mr. Tirkey and Mr. Randhawa abruptly ended the “press conference” when reporters began posing questions to them.
(The featured image shows Aishe Ghosh, President of the JNU students union who was one of those beaten up by the masked gang)