Hoodlums wreak havoc in India’s premier institution: Jawaharlal Nehru University students attacked inside campus

NEW DELHI: In a shocking incident exposing serious security lapse, students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University were mercilessly attacked last evening.

Over 100 masked hoodlums entered the campus through various entry gates of the University and went on a rampage going from hostel to hostel beating students and vandalizing public property.

Hostels of Sabarmati, Kaveri, and Periyar were attacked while the entire incident is yet to unfold as students come into terms with what has transpired over the evening.

According to reports from various Indian media outlets, masked goons armed with rods, hammers, sticks, and stones wreaked havoc leaving over 20 students grievously injured including faculty members.

(President of JNUSU Aishe Ghosh) 

President of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union (JNUSU) Aishe Ghosh who was bleeding profusely from her head after the barbarous attack stated “I have been brutally attacked by goons wearing masks. I have been bleeding. I was brutally beaten up”.

Masked hoodlums fully armed with sticks, rods and hammers were seen damaging property and attacking students inside the campus. “The mob threw huge stones and entered hostels. These were not small stones, these were big stones that could have broken our skulls. I fell on the side and when I came out, I saw cars completely vandalized, including my car” said Professor Atul Sood speaking to NDTV.

At around 6.30 pm last evening from various entry gates, the hoodlums made entry inside the campus. Vice-President of JNUSU Saket Moon said “The police have been on the campus since afternoon, but they have done nothing. The attackers are unknown ABVP goons”.

30 students and 12 faculty members have been injured and are being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

A blame game between the left and the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) is ongoing, while the university authorities and the local Delhi Police are also being accused of complicity.

While the ABVP has accused the left of derailing the registration process and internet shutdown on campus, the left has accused the ABVP of unleashing violence on campus using their political power. For over two months, a standoff between the students and the administration is on over the hike in hostel fees. Students say the hike has increased their monthly expenses manifold, and the left-affiliated students have been demanding a rollback.

The JNU administration has justified the hike saying room rent has not been revised in 30 years and they are spending 100 million Indian rupees (INR) per year for payment towards electricity, water, and service charges. The University according to its data fact sheet given on its portal has mentioned aid worth 20 billion INR given by the Government of India (GoI) under the 11th plan.

Home Minister Amit Shah has asked for a report in the entire incident. No arrests have been made so far and none have been identified.

Similarly JNU alumni in the ruling party Cabinet, Minister for External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar and Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman have condemned the incident of violence.

Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal has also requested the police to take action and restore peace.

Hundreds of students are now out in the open protesting against the ghastly incident that unfolded last evening. Further action is awaited while social media is abuzz with disappointment and grief. In an institution where academics are the last defense mechanism and the powers of intellect are utilized through debates and discussions, students were unable to defend themselves against the vicious cycle of violence and physical confrontation.

(Inputs from NDTV, picture source Island Diaries JNU social media)