JNU violence: AISA-affiliated students protest near Delhi Police headquarters
New Delhi: Scores of JNU students affiliated to the All India Students Association staged a protest near Delhi Police headquarters here on Monday and demanded the arrest of ABVP activists for their alleged role in the violence at the university.
Two groups had clashed at the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Kaveri Hostel here on Sunday allegedly over serving of non-vegetarian food in the mess on Ram Navami, with the police saying they have received 20 Medicolegal cases of students who were injured in the incident.
Members of other left-affiliated student bodies also accused the ABVP of inflicting violence and imposing their food choices on students.
AISA activists at the protest site alleged that some students were detained and taken to the Tughlaq Road police station.
A senior police officer also denied allegations of any type of manhandling by the personnel during the protest.
“We have detained them because they were trying to protest near the police headquarters on the Jai Singh Marg.They were detained before they could reach the spot and taken to Tughlaq Road police station.
“Another group of protesters who came later have also been detained and taken to Madhir Marg police station. Around 30 students have been detained so far and would be released later,” the officer added.
AISA president Sai Balaji said, “Our protest is going to continue. People who attacked the students are repeat offenders and so is the JNU administration.
“Protest at PHQ (police headquarters) was to ensure accountability of the Delhi Police and ensure that justice happens. There will be more protests today.”
The protesting students had gathered near the police headquarters demanding the arrest of ABVP members.
“Women protesters were manhandled and their clothes were pulled by male security personnel. Several protesters have also got injured. We have been detained inside the Tughlaq Road Police Station,” AISA activist Neha said.
The Delhi Police on Monday registered an FIR against unknown ABVP students based on the complaint received from a group of students in connection with a clash in JNU.
Anagha Pradeep, JNUSU councillor, said, “In this university, the ABVP and the RSS orchestrated a big incident again and unleashed violence in the name of food. All the 16 hostels in JNU serve both non-vegetarian and vegetarian food.”
Recalling the sequence of events on Sunday, she said when the vendor came to supply meat to Kaveri Hostel, the ABVP activists tried to attack him and heckle him.
“He was told that that he won’t be spared and asked to leave the campus. They said non-vegetarian food will not be prepared here. The mess committee members, who were present there, were also attacked and heckled,” she alleged.
After that, students went to the warden to ask him to ensure that Kaveri Hostel residents are provided food since sufficient amount had not been prepared owing to the diktat on non-vegetarian food.
“The vegetarian food was only sufficient for less than 100 people and there are about 400 students who stay in Kaveri Hostel. It was necessary to ensure that food was available for all the residents of Kaveri.
While students were talking to the warden, ABVP activists arrived there and attacked several students, she alleged.
“Water coolers were thrown at the students. Guards and the warden were not doing anything. Phones of some of the students, who were making videos, were snatched and broken by the ABVP members.
“As soon as we stepped out of the mess, they started hurling stones. They used wipers, flower pots and whatever they could lay their hands on. Many students sustained injuries. They are spreading lies that we thrashed them. Nothing of that sort happened. We have evidences to prove their claims wrong,” Pradeep said.
She alleged that even in the presence of police, the ABVP tried to attack students.
“All this happened in front of Delhi Police and yet there have been no arrests in the matter,” she said.
Apeksha, another student councillor, said, it is a known fact that every Sunday, non-vegetarian food is prepared in every hostel.
Barring Kaveri Hostel, non-vegetarian food was prepared in every other hostel of JNU on Sunday, Apeksha said.
“Nobody in the hostels had any issues but the ABVP activists said they are organizing a puja on the occasion of Ram Navami and won’t allow meat to be served.
“After heckling the meat vendor, when mess committee members went to ABVP members, even they were also heckled,” she claimed.
The students’ union called a meeting around 7.30 pm to discuss the issue, but then they learnt that violence had broken out in Kaveri Hostel, she said.
“Initially, the ABVP members kicked and punched the students and also hurled sexist abuses and rape threats. Two guards were also seriously injured. One of the guards was hit with a tubelight,” she said.
Apeksha said she called the police to inform them about the violence.
“The police said they were on the other side of the gate but didn’t stop the violence. From 4 pm, students had been continuously calling the police to inform them about the situation but there was no response,” she added.
The police, however, denied the allegations.
A senior police officer saying the first call was received at around 8.15 pm following which the teams rushed to the spot.
“The situation was brought under control after the police teams arrived,” he said.