Police in the Indian capital are facing widespread condemnation for their perceived inaction during the rampage that continued for around three hours at one of the country's top universities on Sunday. unidentified masked people entered the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, where they physically assaulted students and teachers.
A lawyer who represents the Delhi Police expressed his personal astonishment at the lack of police protection when there were “goons merrily entering JNU campus, creating mayhem & grievously injuring innocent students, damaging public property and then exiting the campus in capital city.”
Videos on social media showed the thugs with sticks roaming around campus with impunity.
I, as Standing Counsel @DelhiPolice, hang my head in shame after witnessing video clips of goons merrily entering JNU campus, creating mayhem &grievously injuring innocent students, damaging public property and then exiting the campus in capital city. Where is our force @CPDelhi?— Rahul Mehra (@TheRahulMehra) January 5, 2020
Activists, journalists and celebrities also vented their anger at Delhi Police by sharing video clips showing them allegedly standing aside and taking no action, as attackers left the campus.
The Delhi Police, which usually bundles people into vehicles in preventive detentions, hasn’t detained/arrested a SINGLE ONE of the masked thugs that roamed fearlessly on JNU campus last night. It’s been 17.5 hours. pic.twitter.com/4iaTrNPAuf— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) January 6, 2020
Shocking to see masked vigilantes with rods walking about as @DelhiPolice merrily watches them go by. Elsewhere cops have opened fire with lethal consequences for lesser provocation. Top cops and their political bosses need to explain why police took no action against goons. pic.twitter.com/sWXpMl7vWF— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) January 6, 2020
Most important visuals. The lathi-carrying goons being escorted to safety by the Delhi Police. 1. Who runs Delhi Police? Which Militia practises with lathis, publicly & preaches hate? Who has been threatening & abusing JNU? This is a whodunit that does not need Hercule Poirot. 👇🏾 https://t.co/cOTEe5FrHx— Seema Chishti (@seemay) January 6, 2020
Others slammed Delhi Police for watching the attack as bystanders and compared it to their behaviour at another premier university in Delhi, Jamia Millia Islamia, where students were beaten with batons and teargas was used on campus.
Delhi police faced “Go Back” slogans on Sunday as they carried out a flag march after the ruckus when the university administration asked them to take the situation under control.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police have filed official complaints against some students and handed over the case to its Crime Branch for investigation. Police have stated that the violence was the result of a fight between two groups on campus. Some reports suggest that violence erupted after left-wing students were discouraging students on campus from registering for next semester as a means of protesting against the administration.
According to the university's statement, the clashes broke out between the students at their Winter Semester Registration. The students opposing the registration process over a hike in fees wanted to stop those who tried to register and continue their studies.
However, a group of students alleged that the attackers were members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the youth wing of India’s federal ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The ABVP members have denied the allegations and held students opposing the fee hike responsible for the attack.
Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University have been protesting against the Draft Hostel Manual proposed on 27 October, which proposed a fee hike, a strictly-enforced dress code, the imposition of a curfew and several other changes.