FIRs against Aishe, 18 others filed when Sunday’s attack was underway.
NEW DELHI: On Sunday, when Jawaharlal Nehru University students and professors were being attacked by masked goons and their hostel rooms and campus property was being vandalised, the university’s administration was busy filing two FIRs against the very students who were being rushed to the AIIMS Trauma Centre with bloody faces, deep gashes on their heads and fractures.
Shortly after Aishe Ghosh, Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union (JNUSU) president, was taken to the trauma centre bleeding from the brutal attack by the masked mob, she was named in two FIRs that the university had filed alleging that on January 3 and 4, the student chief and others had “illegally trespassed the university property with the criminal intention to damage the public property. They damaged servers and made it dysfunctional. They also damaged fiber optic power supplies and broke the biometric systems inside the room.”
In the two FIRs against Ms Ghosh and 18 others, filed at 8.39 pm and 8.43 pm on Sunday, they have also been accused of attacking campus security guards during the registration of students for the winter semester.
The third FIR, on Sunday’s violence when a mob barged into the campus and attacked students and teachers with sledgehammers and iron rods, doesn’t name anyone as the police say the perpetrators are yet to be identified.
Though JNU students have accused the RSS-backed Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) of involvement in the attack in their complaints to the police, and some faces can be identified from security camera footage and video clips, the FIR names no individual or organisation.
The Delhi Police, which showed deplorable alacrity in attacking the students at the Jamia Millia Islamia University on December 15 last year during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC protests, not only stood by while JNU students and professors were being attacked on Sunday, but is also being accused of facilitating a safe passage to the goons out of the JNU campus after their three-hour-long rampage.
Ms Ghosh said the two FIRs that name her and 18 others are an attempt by the university administration to “shield” the attackers.
“I am confident. There’s no proof. The story has been made up by the university administration,” she said.
The students’ leader alleged that though there was an attempt to murder her, the vice-chancellor didn’t even bother to find out the condition of the victims. “I used to consider JNU my second home. Now the situation is too bad,” she said.
The JNU students’ union has been protesting against a hostel fee hike and there have been clashes between the Left-affiliated students and the RSS-backed ABVP at the time.
The FIR naming Ms Ghosh says: “...since the entire registration process was halted due to the lockdown on the CIS (communication and information) office, an effort was made by the CIS staff with the help of JNU security guards to open the office at 6am in the morning of 4th Jan 2020. At this time (Aishe Ghosh, Saket Moon) indulged in physical violence, pushed the lady guards, verbally abused them and threatened them with dire consequences if they would open the lock of the CIS office.”
Kavita Krishnan, a Left-wing leader and JNU alumnus, dubbed the police case against Ms Ghosh as “outrageous”. She said, “Aishe herself has been a victim of murderous act and you are filing an FIR against the victim, whereas in the presence of Delhi police a whole hoard of assailants armed to the deep, walked out of the campus, battered on the back the police and they didn’t arrest anyone.”
The JNU Teachers Association, which has sought vice-chancellor’s dismissal, also questioned the logic behind the FIR. JNUTA secretary Surajit Mazumdar said, “It seems to be very clear that they want to escape from responsibilities on what has happened during the mob violence… I don’t understand on what basis and evidence are they, otherwise, filing an FIR against the JNU Students’ Union president who was badly injured.”