Police rely on ABVP’s proof, say Aishe Ghosh involved in violence

Delhi Police
DCP (Crime) Joy Tirkey releases photographs of suspects in JNU violence as Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa (R) looks on, during a press conference in New Delhi | PTI Photo

The Delhi Police on Friday released photographs of nine suspects identified for the violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) last week, naming mostly students affiliated to the Left-controlled students’ union but giving few details on the attack by a masked mob on students and teachers on Sunday evening.

Surprisingly, the photographs released by the police were the same provided by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s students wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad to claim Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union’s president Aishe Ghosh was involved.

Sequence of events in JNU violence (according to Delhi Police)

Interactive timeline graphic. Click on the arrow or year to progress.

Sequence of events in JNU violence (according to Delhi Police)

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Specifically focusing on clashes that took place on the campus before Sunday over increased hostel fees, Delhi Police officials named Chunchun Kumar, Pankaj Mishra, Aishe Ghosh, Waskar Vijay, Sucheta Talukdar, Priya Ranjan, Dolan Sawant, Yogendra Bhardwaj and Vikas Patel. Aishe Ghosh is the president of the Left-controlled JNU students’ union while Yogendra Bhardwaj and Vikas Patel are said to be members of the BJP-linked Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP.

Addressing a press conference, Aishe said, “I have done no wrong. Why is Delhi Police biased? I have full faith in the law and order of this country that investigation will be fair. I will get justice. But why is Delhi Police bias? My complaint has not been filed as an FIR. I have not carried out any assault.”

Also read | JNU VC told cops not to enter campus during Sunday violence

In a tweet minutes after the news briefing by the police, Union Minister Smriti Irani accused Left parties of involvement in the JNU violence. “Left design in JNU unmasked. They led mobs of mayhem, destroyed public property paid for by taxpayers, disallowed new students from being enrolled, used the campus as a political battleground,” she tweeted.

DCP (Crime) Joy Tirkey, who released the photographs, did not go into the political affiliation of the nine suspects but spelt out the Left groups that were part of the JNU students’ union. There was no answer to a question around links of any suspect to the ruling BJP-linked Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

A police officer said two of the nine suspects were from the ABVP. One of them has been identified as a PhD scholar in Sanskrit Yogendra Bharadwaj who was administrator for “Unity against Left”, one of the four-five WhatsApp groups created that day.

Also read | Why is Delhi Police biased, asks Aishe Ghosh on being accused of violence

Tirkey, who gave a broad sequence of events on Sunday evening, said after the 3.45 pm attack on students at Periyar, a peace meeting was held at Sabarmati T-point attended by teachers and students at about 7 pm.

While this meeting was still on, a group of people came and first got into an altercation with people at this meeting and later entered Sabarmati hostel and attacked students.

Like the attack that had taken place earlier in the day at Periyar hostel, this group at Sabarmati hostel also targeted specific rooms, said Trikey. This implied that JNU students were part of this group of masked attackers.

“They knew which rooms to go to,” Tirkey said that he had been to the campus a couple of times and would still forget the way around the sprawling campus.

JNUTA expresses disappointment

Meanwhile, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teacher’s Union expresses its disappointment that at the press conference conducted by the Delhi Police saying attacks on teachers and their families, which took place on December 5 were glossed over as a non-event.

“Such underplaying of the incidents which shocked the nation and subjected several to extreme trauma is deeply disturbing. It may be noted that till date not even one of the several complaints filed by teachers has been turned into a FIR. Seen in combination with the attempts at the Delhi Police press conference to paint the student body which has been agitating against the fee hike for more than 75 days as an unruly mob, these only reinforce suspicions about the role of the Delhi Police on the fateful day,” said DK Lobiyal, JNUTA president.

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