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JNU Violence: As cops name Aishe Ghosh, others, ABVP men admit role on camera

Asked how he was able to organise mobs in a matter of hours, Awasthi named office-bearers of the ABVP from a separate campus outside

Friday January 10, 2020 11:31 PM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

JNU Violence Suspects

New Delhi: Delhi Police Friday named Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) President Aishe Ghosh among nine suspects for violence at the university last week.

Naming mostly members of the Left-controlled students' union, the Delhi Police gave few details on the attack by a masked mob on students and teachers on Sunday evening even as India Today broadcast visuals from a sting operation that showed ABVP men confessing their role in the JNU violence.

Talking to an undercover reporter, a first-year student of the French degree program at the JNU and a resident of the Kaveri hostel on campus, Akshat Awasthi identified himself in footage of Sunday's attack -- and as an activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Armed with a stick, his face covered with a helmet, Awasthi showed the video and said he could be seen rushing through the hostel corridors in maddening rage and knocking anything and anyone that came his way.

"What did you have in your hand?" the India Today undercover reporter asked Awasthi.

"It was a stick, sir. I pulled it out from a flag lying near [the] Periyar [hostel]", he said.

Asked how he was able to organise mobs in a matter of hours, Awasthi named office-bearers of the ABVP from a separate campus outside.

"He's an organizational secretary of the ABVP. I called him. Left-wing students and teachers were holding a meeting at Sabarmati. When Sabarmati was attacked, they all ran away and took shelter inside," Awasthi explained.

A fellow student in the first year of the French program also testified to his involvement in the criminal assault on January 5.

The student, Rohit Shah, confessed that he gave his helmet to Awasthi before he set out on the raid. "It [a helmet] is a must for safety when you smash glass," Rohit Shah said.

Attack on JNU Server Room

The Delhi Police however focused its press conference on the "violent students" who attacked the JNU Server Room to stop online registrations and enforce a strike over their protest against the increased fees.

"They started creating hurdles in the registration process from January 1 and continued to do so till January 5, which ultimately led to the violence", DCP Crime, Joy Tirkey, who is heading the probe said.

Delhi Police also released pictures of nine suspects, whom they said included JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh who herself was seriously injured in the attack by masked men. Two of the nine suspects are from ABVP.

The police claimed that they zeroed in on the suspects after analysing footage obtained from several videos of the violent incident that resulted in injuries to more than 30 students and teaching staff.

'JNUSU not involved'

Meanwhile, Ghosh and her associates, named by the Delhi Police, have denied the charges and said that the students union was not involved in any such act.

"Not at all, we have minutes of every general body meeting where we have made it clear that no one will force students to not register," the SFI activist said.

She also used JNU Vice Chancellor's statement to prove her words.

"They say over 3,500 students have registered. If that is true, then how could we force anyone to not register? Those who want to register can go ahead," she said.

'One-sided Investigation'

Ghosh also accused the Delhi Police of conducting an one-sided investigation into the matter.
"They have not yet acted on the FIR I lodged, but have named me as a suspect. Did I injure myself? They are not working independently," she said.

Ever since January 5, when a group of masked people assaulted students and some teaching staff on campus, JNU has been claims and counter-claims by Left and the RSS-affiliated ABVP over who started the violence on campus.

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