Violence broke out in Jawaharlal Nehru University Sunday evening after members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the Sangh Parivar’s student wing, allegedly stormed the campus. Some members of the JNU Students’ Union, including its president Aishe Ghosh, were injured in the violence.
On Saturday, JNU students had resumed their protest, which first began in October, against the steep hike in hostel fees. When some of them opposed the opening of the registration process for the new semester, they were beaten up, allegedly by members of the ABVP.
On Sunday morning, some students affiliated with the campus group Left Unity allegedly went to Kaveri and Periyar hostels which reportedly house most of the ABVP members. A violent scuffle broke out and students from both sides were injured.
Not long after, a busload of masked people, allegedly associated with the ABVP and armed with sticks and rods, entered the campus and disrupted a meeting of the Jawaharlal Nehru Teachers’ Association near Sabarmati hostel. In the ensuing scuffle, a student who asked not to be named said, some professors were injured.
In the evening, the mob stormed the Sabarmati hostel and beat up the residents. A student who was inside the hostel but managed to escape recounted, “At around 6.30 in the evening, 60-70 people came with lathis. I was in Sabarmati hostel. Ten people invaded the hostel, banged on the door loudly and started shouting abuses. Windows of the room I was in were broken. A blind student in the room next to mine was also beaten up.”
He added, “They were trying to break the locks on all doors of the hostel. They were pelting stones. The JNUSU president was severely injured in the head. They didn’t even spare professors.”
A student associated with the leftist All India Students Association said he was outside when he heard about the violence. He rushed to JNU, but was not allowed to enter the campus by the police even though he stays in a hostel. “They are randomly picking up students and beating them,” he said. “They brutally attacked a handicapped student. Students are sitting in their rooms in fear. Police are outside the gate and are not letting anyone enter.”
In a voice message sent to Newslaundry, JNU student Shashibhushan Pandey said, “ABVP and the police are on our campus and beating up students. They are beating up students together. Please help us or we’ll die. They’ll burn down the place.”
The violence drew widespread condemnation, including from central ministers.
This is a developing story. We will update it as more details become available.