Police to interrogate 9 students identified as suspects in JNU violence

Aishe Ghosh FIR JNU violence
In the first FIR registered with regard to the JNU violence, Delhi police have charged JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and others for vandalism. Photo: PTI

The Delhi Police has issued notices to nine students identified as suspects in the violence in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on students and teachers that left 36 injured.

According to the police, seven of them are from Left-leaning bodies including JNU Students Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh.

Based on evidence collected from social media, hostel wardens security guards and students, the police will probe all accused starting from Monday (January 13).

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The female students will be questioned by female officers at a time and place of their choosing and the rest will have to present themselves in the Crime Branch office.

The preliminary findings in the probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the police also released pictures of the nine suspects.

Also Read: 37 students behind JNU violence identified: Delhi police

Those identified are Dolan Samanta, Priya Ranjan, Sucheta Talukdar, Aishe Ghosh, Bhaskar Vijay Mech, Chunchun Kumar (an alumni) and Pankaj Mishra.

The other two suspects named by police are Vikas Patel and Yogendra Bharadwaj.

Police sources said the two are from the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

However, the police did not name any group involved in this attack.

The police also claimed that the January 5 violence was a fallout of the online registration process and that tension was brewing in the university since January 1.

Addressing a press conference, Joy Tirkey, DCP (Crime Branch), who is heading the SIT, on Friday (January 10), said the Student Federation of India (SFI), All India Students Association (AISA), Democratic Students Federation (DSF) and All India Student Federation (AISF) had been allegedly “creating nuisance and threatening the students” against the recently started online admission for the winter semester in the varsity.

Tirkey said a Whatsapp group Unity Against Left, believed to have been formed while the violence escalated, is also under scanner.

Also Read: Noticed mobs at 3 pm, cops ignored our messages: JNUSU

Rejecting the charges against the Left-leaning students, Ghosh, who was injured, said she has not done anything wrong and all this is being done to create a narrative. On being named as one of the attackers during the violence, Ghosh said she too has evidence on how she was attacked.

She said the police was quick to take cognizance of the complaint filed by the JNU administration against her but has not registered any FIR on her complaint.

At his briefing, Tirkey admitted that lack of CCTV footage was a major hurdle in the investigation.

“The CCTV footage could not be fetched as the wifi-based system and the cameras were all disabled.” He also said since the hostel rooms were specifically targeted, it indicates an insiders hand.

“JNU is so vast that the outsiders cannot figure out the hostel room in the spur of the moment,” he claimed. Tirkey said tensions flared up on January 5.

“At around 11.30 am, four students were tensed and sitting on a bench in front of School of Social Science. A group came and there was an altercation between them over the admission process. The security staff who tried to save them also got injured,” he said.

“At 3.45 pm, members of the four organisations went to Periyar Hostel and attacked the students there. Some JNUSU members were also there, including their president Aishe Ghosh,” he said.

Inside Periyar Hostel, some specific students were targeted, police said. Thereafter, there was a peace meeting in which 120 to 130 students and teachers participated outside Sabarmati T-point between the Periyar and Sabarmati hostels.

“Meanwhile, a group came there with muffled faces. They got into a scuffle with students at the T-Point and later barged into the Sabarmati Hostel. They knew which rooms were to be targeted,” Tirkey said.

Also Read: What JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh said ahead of Modi’s Kolkata visit

Narrating the sequence, Tirkey said a majority of the students wanted to register for the winter semester from January 1 to 5, but alleged that the left-leaning student’s bodies were not allowing them to do so.

On January 3, around 1 pm, members belonging to the four left-wing student bodies barged into the server room, tampered with the server and shut it down. They also pushed the staff of the server room outside, Tirkey said.

“Around three to four hours later, the staff of the varsity restored the server. Thereafter, police registered a complaint for assault, damaging public property and criminal intimidation,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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