A fact-finding committee of the Delhi police probing the January 5 violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has revealed that Vice-Chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar had instructed the DCP (Southwest), the ACP and the SHO of Vasant Kunj (North) police station, to stay outside the gates instead of asking them to control the violence, on the fateful day.
According to Indian Express, the committee formed to “probe the sequence of events” and “negligence on part of the police” has made the revelation in its report.
According to the report, at 6.24 pm on Sunday, when masked miscreants had already attacked students at Periyar hostel and Sabarmati Dhaba, the VC told the police to be “stationed at the gates” instead of requesting them to enter the campus and control the assailants.
“Considering the volatile situation in JNU campus, I request you to station police at the gates of JNU campus so that they can quickly reach the trouble spot in the campus if a law and order situation arises,” the VC wrote in the message.
As reported by Indian Express, according to another report prepared by police, masked “miscreants” were first seen gathering inside JNU at 2.30 pm, and 23 calls went from inside the campus to the Police Control Room (PCR) between then and 6 pm.
The next communication between the university and police was when its registrar Pramod Kumar handed over an official letter to them at 7.45 pm, “seeking increased presence and deployment on the premises”.
Registrar Kumar, when contacted by Indian Express, had claimed that “police were on campus by 6.30 pm” and that they had been “informally” informed before the letter was submitted. He had claimed that the VC had communicated with police around 5.30 pm.
“If there is a law and order situation here, we don’t rush to police immediately. We will see if our own security can handle it. But when it goes out of hand, and we feel the security cannot handle it, we definitely approach police because we don’t want any innocent people to be injured. On Sunday also, we did this,” VC had said while speaking to reporters on January 5.
A group of masked people armed with sticks and rods attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus on Sunday, prompting the university administration to call in the police.
The WhatsApp messages surface amid the criticism JNU VC Kumar faces for not taking immediate measures when violence broke out on the campus on Sunday evening. He was advised by the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry to take steps to restore normalcy.
During a meeting, Kumar was also urged to be more communicative with students and the faculty and to take them into confidence and facilitate the semester registration process.
The Delhi Police formed a fact-finding committee under the authority of the Joint Commissioner of Police (Western Range), Shalini Singh, to investigate the violence in JNU campus on Sunday.
Adding that the case is with Crime Branch now, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Delhi Police, MS Randhawa, said on Monday that the committee will find facts pertaining to the sequence of events on JNU violence and avoid any delay in investigation and inquiry.
At least 35 people, including JNU Students Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured in the violence. They were admitted to AIIMS Trauma Centre and discharged on Monday.