On January 5, 2020, a group of masked attackers charged into the JNU campus, smashed the college property, and used lathis to attack students and teachers, including JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh.
Despite widespread condemnation of the attack, the Delhi Police is yet to make any arrests in the case. However, they did file an FIR against JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, along with other students, for reportedly vandalizing a server room on January 4.
In a press conference conducted on January 10, Delhi Police, along with Joy Tirkey, DCP/Crime, released the name and photos of the nine suspects. During the conference, Delhi Police PRO, MS Randhawa also added that ‘misinformation’ was being circulated.
Now, in a sting operation conducted by India Today’s Special Investigation Team, it has been revealed that ABVP activist Akshat Awasthi–who is also a resident of JNU’s Kaveri hostel–was one of the leaders who organized the attack at the campus.
As per reports, Akshat Awasthi admitted on camera that he mobilized the mob and even hit a student who ‘looked like a Kashmiri’.
There was a man with a flowing beard. He looked like a Kashmiri. I beat him up and then broke the gate with my kicks. I can tell you that I did all the mobilization. I guided them about everything — where to hide, where to go. I told them to do everything systematically. Left-wing students and teachers were holding a meeting at Sabarmati. When Sabarmati was attacked, they all ran away and took shelter inside
Female students have locked themselves up inside the girls’ wing in Sabarmati Hostel. These attackers are roaming the corridors with rods and sticks. ABVP terrorists have broken the cars parked outside. We are under attack. #EmergencyinJNU #SOSJNU pic.twitter.com/rNcB15hVte— JNUSU (@JNUSUofficial) January 5, 2020
As per the details uncovered in the operation, Akshat stated that they reacted to the alleged violence conducted by the Left students on Periyar hostel, earlier in the day. He was reportedly helped by another first-year student.
1.JNU server was shutdown by Left student.— ASHUTOSH MISHRA (@ashu3page) January 10, 2020
2. Clash at Periyar.
3. Masked Mob entered Campus, threatened Guards, Girls, attacked students in Hostels.
4. Attackers had police & JNU admin’s support. #JNUTapes pic.twitter.com/rSUWXVWCXx
Reportedly, Akshat Awasthi also confessed that the police officers encouraged the masked attackers to hit the students. Apparently, India Today also received details about the identity of other masked attackers. In the official report it was stated that ‘India Today TV can share information about the suspects with the police.’
However, ABVP has stated that the person identified in the operation, Akshat Awasthi, is actually not a part of their organisation.
Akshat Awasthi is neither an office bearer, nor a karyakarta of ABVP, as claimed by @IndiaToday. This is a smear campaign run by India Today to deviate everyone from the facts put forth by @DelhiPolice proving #LeftBehindJNUVoilence.— ABVP (@ABVPVoice) January 10, 2020
– National General Secretary @nidhitripathi92
During the undercover operations, it was also discovered that a group of protestors, including former JNUSU president and Left/AISA activist Geeta Kumari, were involved in shutting down the university servers on January 04.
Our VC does everything online… there are no exams, none of our demands is met, he didn’t even meet us, so we decided to close the server room so that the administration does not function.
When the details of the operation were made public, Geeta Kumari also took to Twitter to comment on her role in closing the servers.
JNU VC increases our fee a thousand time. He sends punishment letters for demanding right to education. I myself have received countless such letters. We are fighting for our rights. We are in civil disobedience. That’s what I have said. Nothing to hide. #JNUTapes @IndiaToday— Geeta (@GeetaJnu) January 10, 2020
It is imperative that police thoroughly investigate the violence that took place at the JNU campus, and apprehend the criminals behind the act.