JNU violence: Seize phones of members of WhatsApp groups that plotted the attack, HC tells police

Pritam Pal Singh
JNU violence, JNU attacks, JNU attack confession tapes, JNU violence Delhi Police, Delhi High Court, Delhi news, city news, Indian Express

On January 5, masked men and women ran riot on JNU campus injuring over 30 students and teachers. (Express Photo)

The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed Google and Whatsapp to preserve and provide information sought by the Delhi Police in connection with the January 5 violence inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus. It also asked the police to seize the phones of members of two WhatsApp groups — Unity Against Left and Friends of RSS — on which the incident was allegedly plotted.

Justice Brijesh Sethi directed Google to preserve data from Google Drive as early as possible on January 5 violence. WhatsApp, however, said because of end-to-end encryption, it cannot preserve data. The high court also directed the JNU administration to provide CCTV footage of the incident to Delhi police at the earliest.

The court was hearing a petition filed by three JNU professors — Ameet Parameswaran, Atul Sood, and Shukla Vinayak Sawant — seeking to preserve CCTV footage, WhatsApp conversations and other evidence related to the violence that unleashed on the campus of the premier institution injuring over 30 students and teachers.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police Crime Branch, which is investigating the case, will on Tuesday question two suspects — Sucheta Taluqdar and Priya Ranjan — and some of those who were injured in the rampage. The cops will also question those who called the police control rooms on the day of the violence, they said.

On Monday Delhi Police had told the high court that they have written to WhatsApp Inc to provide it with details of two groups created on January 5 to allegedly mobilise miscreants from inside and outside JNU. The HC then issued notice to the Delhi government, police, WhatsApp, Google and Apple, to respond to the plea and listed it for hearing on Tuesday. The crime branch officers too had questioned three students, including JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, on Monday.

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