Shaken by the attacks in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)campus in Delhi late on Sunday evening, hundreds of people staged protests in Mumbai and Pune late on Sunday night condemning the manner in which students and teachers were targeted.
Soon after the incident, hundreds of college students assembled at gateway of India in South Mumbai to condemn the violence. Former JNU student Umar Khalid was part of the group, which also held a candlelight vigil to show solidarity with JNU students. It was an “impromptu assembly at a short notice”.
The protests continued on Monday morning, with students stringent action against the guilty, even as Delhi police lodged an FIR and claimed that they had identified the attackers. There appeared to be no breakthrough in talks between the protestors and police. The Mumbai police wanted the protesters to move to Azad Maidan, some distance away from the Gateway of India, but students refused to move from the Gateway of India. Protestors referred to the Constitution’s Freedom of Expression, while police referred to the “Reasonable Restrictions”. Refusing to vacate the area, protestors begun to list down the volunteers who will stay put and also planned 12-hour shifts, besides chalking out a course of action.
At least 28 persons, including JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh and General Secretary Satish Chandra Yadav, were injured as chaos reigned on the campus for over two hours on Sunday. While the JNU administration called the police for help, the vandalism continued and reportedly after two hours the Delhi Police reached the campus and conducted a flag march inside the campus which ended at its Bab-e-Syed gate.
Registrar and Pro-VC of JNU met Delhi L-G Anil Baijal on Monday morning and apprised him of the situation. Later the JNU violence case was transferred to Crime Branch and Delhi police began collecting evidence. Medical examination of 35 injured students was completed both in AIIMS trauma centre and Safdarjung hospitals.
In a related development, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik and sought a report on the violence.
The fracas began when a group of masked men and women armed with sticks, rods and acid unleashed violence on the campus. The masked goons, allegedly associated with ABVP, went about storming the campus, rampaging through hostels and attacking students and teachers alike. Students and teachers said the attack happened at a “peaceful meeting” called by JNUTA and backed by JNUSU. However ABVP denied the charge.
While the students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) (Uttar Pradesh) took out a candlelight march on Sunday, the AMU Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) released a statement urging the Chief Justice of India to take suo motu cognisance of the “unprecedented situation arising from Sunday’s assault on JNU students and teachers”.
The agitation spilled over the campuses across the country. In New Delhi over 500 students and alumni from universities in Delhi protested outside the old Delhi Police headquarters at ITO. The students of AMU took out a candlelight march. A protest took place in Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur at around midnight where about 300 people, including students and activists, protested against the violence. In Patna (Bihar), students’ union president Manish Kumar led the protest. Students associated with the All India Students Federation (AISF) also staged a protest outside Patna University office. The students of the National Law University in Bengaluru (Karnataka) staged candle light protest.
In Goa, the Goa Forward Party, an ally of NDA, condemned the violence and said the “heinous masked attack” on professors and students was “shocking and appalling”. Violence is the first resort of cowards and intellectually bankrupt.
In Manipur, students of the Manipur University staged a solidarity protest inside the campus at around noon on Monday. 100 of students gathered at the Traffic Island inside the University campus and staged the protest with placards showing solidarity to JNU. Later at evening a candle light vigil was also organised by the Student body.
The chronology of developments on Monday: 08:10 AM: Delhi Police: “We have received multiple complaints in connection with Sunday’s violence at JNU. We will soon register FIR”. 07:40 AM: The Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) called the Registrar, Proctor and Rector of JNU to his office. 07:27 AM: Students from different colleges gathered outside Gateway of India in Mumbai to protest against the JNU violence. 10.30 AM an FIR was lodged by Delhi police.
Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]
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