Mumbai police on Tuesday registered 4 FIRs against 350 persons, including 31 named students, activists and members of public, who took part in the Gateway of India protest to denounce the JNU violence on Monday.
The FIRs included the FIR registered at Colaba police station against Mahek Mirza Prabhu, a Mumbai-based storyteller and performer, for holding “Free Kashmir” placard during the protest. “We have filed case against Prabhu under Section 153b (Imputation, assertions prejudicial to national interest) under IPC. We are trying to get in touch with her, when needed we will call her for statement,” a police officer said.
The opposition parties, including BJP, in Maharashtra alleged that the poster connoted support to separatists in Kashmir and as such the action was “anti national”. However Mahek said that “she was residing in Mumbai and not in Kashmir. All that she was protesting was suspension of internet services and disruption of communication in Kashmir for nearly 150 days. I intend to communicate that the people of Kashmir should be able to enjoy freedom like us. But I was trolled for simply talking about Internet freedom in Kashmir”.
Two FIRs each were registered at Colaba and Mata Ramabai police stations, both located in South Mumbai. The police evicted all the protestors from Gateway of India and asked them to protest at Azad Maidan (3 kms away from Gateway of India), which is designated protest site as per a court order. Besides the agitation was causing traffic jams near Hotel Taj Intercontinental accommodating national and international tourists.
The protestors were booked for unlawful assembly since they had no permission to stage agitation at Gateway of India. The 31 protestors against whom the FIRs were lodged included former student of JNU Umar Khalid, Suvarva Salve and Feroze Mithiborwala and ateacher from Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS). Later the protestors in Mumbai called off their agitation. The FIR was lodged also against ABVP activists who held protest demonstrations at Hutatma Chowk in South Mumbai.
In significant development, students and teachers held a protest meeting at IIT,Bombay Campus at Powai in North East Mumbai and decided to continue to meet daily in the evening for 10 days to take a stock of the JNU developments.
As of now two FIRs stand filed by Delhi police against 20 JNU students for allegedly vandalising the server room of the college and attacking staff members. The FIRs were filed against JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and others on 5 January, which is when the violence broke out, when masked armed men reportedly attacked students and some of the teachers. d. Those named in the FIR include: Ghosh, Geeta Kumari, Vivek Kumar Pandey, Surya Prakash, Satish Chandra Yadav, Saket Moon, Sarika Chaudhary and Ameksha Priyadarshini.
According to the JNU security department, on 1 January, a group of students wearing masks on their faces forcibly entered the office of the centre for information system located in a building near the Administration Building. “They switched off the power supply and evicted all the technical staff working there and made servers dysfunctional. They obstructed and stopped the public servants from doing the duties. They pushed, threatened, abused, and chased the staff out of the office ad server room. Subsequently, they locked the room and squatted at the door and did not let the staff enter the server room,” the university officials alleged in the complaint.
In the complaint filed by the JNU administration, the university alleged that the accused were involved in physical violence and pushed the women guards, verbally abused them and threatened them of dire consequences if they opened the lock of university’s communication and information (CIS) office.
In yet another incident on Tuesday, 10 activists were injured when activists of NSUI and ABVP clashed during protest against campus violence in Ahmedabad. They included Gujarat NSUI General Secretary Nikhil Savani and others. In the meanwhile Hindu Raksha Dal has claimed the responsibility for the JNU assault.
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]