Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh, and 19 other students, have been accused of indulging in physical violence and verbal abuse when the university staff and security tried to open the Communication and Information Services (CIS) office to facilitate the winter semester registration, according to a First Information Report filed at the Vasant Kunj North Police Station in Delhi.
The FIR, filed by one Shyam Singh on 5 January, accuses the students under Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984, and Sections 323, 341, 506, 34 of the Indian Penal Code. These sections deal with offences concerning damage to public property, wrongful restraint, criminal intimidation, voluntarily causing hurt and commitment of a criminal act by several persons with a particular intention. Singh's address was registered as JNU Security Administrative Block.
The FIR alleges that after remaining closed on the intervening night of 3 and 4 January, the violence at the CIS office began when staff and JNU security guards tried opening the office at 6 am on Saturday. Apart from Aishe, students, who were named for allegedly indulging in violence, pushing female guards and threatening dire consequences if the office is opened, included Saket Moon, Satish Yadav, Sarika Chaudhary, G Suresh, Krish Jaiswal, Vivek Kumar, Gautam Sharma, Vaskar V Mech, Apeksha Priyadarshi, Shreya Ghosh, Sweta Kashyap, Sambhavit Siddhi, Vivek Kumar Pandey, Raju Kumar, Manas Kumar, Chunchun Yadav, Kamaran, Dolan and Geeta Kumari. A few security guards were injured after being attacked by the agitating students, the FIR further added.
Aishe was among the more than 30 people who were injured on Sunday night, when around 50 masked intruders carrying lathis, clubs and sticks, entered the JNU campus and attacked students and teachers and vandalised varsity property. The attackers targeted Sabarmati, Periyar and Kaveri hostels of the JNU.
While sources told PTI that the violence began around 5 pm, the police entered the campus later after a written request from the JNU administration. The police also reportedly got nearly 100 PCR calls asking for help amid violence at the hostels. The police then conducted an extensive flag march, bringing back normalcy to the situation. Aishe blamed the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for the violence that triggered nationwide protests.
The FIR registered on Saturday did not put the names of the 20 students, including Aishe, in the accused column. Also, while it named the students, there was no mention of any attackers.
Later, on Saturday morning, after the CIS office was opened to restore the information system, the students entered and abused the staff members and forced them out of the premises, the FIR further noted, accusing the students of stopping public officials from dispensing their duties. A police team visited the campus shortly after to take stock of the situation, the FIR said.
The police complaint cited a "security report" and alleged that around 1 pm on the same day, students broke open the CIS office’s rear-end glass door, damaged servers, power supplies and biometric systems.
Requesting the filing of an FIR against the 20 students, the complaint pointed out that the agitating students flouted Delhi High Court orders dated August 2017 and December 2019, which mandated that gatherings, dharna and protests within 100 metres of the administration building are prohibited. It also requested for the deployment of police personnel during the registration period.
Another FIR was filed by the Delhi Police on Saturday following a complaint lodged on 3 January, which held the accused responsible for switching off the server. JNUSU vice president Saket Moon alleged that the administration is selectively targeting some students and denied any involvement in the vandalism of the server room.
Separately, another FIR was registered by the Delhi Police on Monday against "unidentified people" for rioting and damaging property. It was transferred to the Crime Branch, which visited the affected hostels in the university on the same day. The FIR read that JNU students had been protesting against the hostel fee hike for the past few days. A police team headed by an inspector was at the Administrative Block on Sunday at 3.45 pm, when they got information that a few students had gathered at Periyar Hostel and that a fight had broken out and some property was damaged.
The FIR was filed under Sections 145 (joining or continuing in unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (prosecution of common object) and 151 (knowingly joining or continuing in assembly) of the Indian Penal Code as well Section 3 (mischief causing damage to public property) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. Delhi Police said it is collecting mobile videos from various sources to identify the people involved in the violence.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jan 07, 2020 16:01:18 IST