Just when JNU was under attack, the university filed two FIRs against Aishe Ghosh and other students
On the night of the JNU mayhem, when JNUSU president Ghosh was bleeding profusely, two FIRs were filed on complaints of the JNU internal security officers against her and other JNU students. Importantly, these FIRs pertains to alleged scuffles that took place on January 1st and 4th.
On the night of January 5, terror struck the Jawaharlal Nehru University. It was under a siege. Inside the campus, a masked mob of nearly 50 was on a rampage. They were attacking students with sticks and rods, allegedly chasing them down inside the hostels, before dragging them out and attacking them. This mob was damaging university property. It seemed they were baying for blood.
JNU students’ union president Aishe Ghosh was brutally attacked by this mob, and she was bleeding profusely. Professor Sucharita Sen was also injured in this attack. According to JNU students, the attack started at around six in the evening and continued for at least three hours.
When mayhem was going on inside JNU, two first information reports (FIR) were filed against JNUSU president Ghosh and other JNU students. Ghosh was probably being rushed to the hospital for medical help when this FIR was registered, which raises pertinent questions regarding the timing when these complaints were lodged.
The first FIR was registered at 8.39 pm on January 5th at the Vasant Kunj North police station and names 8 JNU students, including Ghosh and former JNUSU president Geeta Kumari. Importantly, this FIR pertains to an alleged scuffle which took place on January 1st at one in the afternoon. It was registered after a delay of four days under the sections of 323, 341, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage Public Property Act, 1984, was also pressed against these students. The FIR states that the group of masked students forcefully entered the office where servers are located, switched off the power supply, evicted the technical staff and made the servers dysfunctional. According to the FIR, this act of “vandalization” affected the “students registration system” among other official works.
The second FIR was registered at 8.43 pm at the same police station and names 20 JNU students, again including Ghosh and Kumari. It reads that the servers rooms were locked by the agitating students on the night of January 3rd and 4th. It further reads that when the security guards tried to open the gates, at six in the morning, the students indulged in “physical violence, pushed lady guards” and threatened them with “dire consequences”. Importantly, again there was a mysterious delay of 39 hours in filing this FIR. It was registered under the same sections as the first one.
Both complaints were lodged by JNU’s security members with the "approval of competent authority".
Asiaville enquired about this mysterious delay in the lodging of the FIR. According to Sub Inspector (SI) Hemant Kumar, the investigative officer in the matter, the police had received the first information about these incidents at the time mentioned in the FIRs and there was no delay in lodging them. “We filed the FIRs as and when we received the complaint. It is about up to them (JNU security) to explain why there is a delay in the time of the incident and filing the complaint.”
We reached out to JNU Registrar Dr Pramod Kumar to understand the reason for the delay. However, multiple attempts at communication remained unsuccessful. The story will be updated as and when we receive the JNU administration’s version.
The timing raises serious question marks on the conduct of the university security and the administration. When the incidents took place on January 1st and 4th, why did it wait till late evening on January 5th to file the FIR with the police?
It further puts the JNU security and the administration in the dock. If we go by the two FIRs registered and the version of SI Hemant Kumar, when the mayhem in JNU was going on, did the JNU administration prioritise filing FIRs against their own students, including the JNUSU president who was injured in these attacks?
“The attack on JNU was planned and the police complicity allowed that attack to happen. After the attack, they (JNU administration) are trying to put a narrative – we will not speak about the attack and will penalise the victims instead,” N Sai Balaji, former JNUSU president and member of the AISA, told this correspondent. Balaji further questioned the timing of the filing of these FIRs, saying that when JNU was under attack, the administration and police filed them against the victims. “Why has the police not identified and arrested anyone yet in the JNU violence case yet?” Balaji asked.
Incidentally, JNU vice-chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar, tried to blame the students for the JNU violence on January 6th. Kumar claimed that the origin of the JNU violence “lies in some agitating students turning violent and obstructing the academic activities of a large number of non-protesting students. The protesting students damaged the communication servers to disrupt the winter semester registration.” The two FIRs filed against JNUSU president Ghosh and other JNU students are in connection to these incidents.