Police encouraged us to 'hit them': ABVP activist says he participated in JNU violence, gives details

The Delhi Police on Friday released pictures of nine suspects in the JNU violence case and claimed JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh was one of them.

Of the nine, seven belong to left-leaning student organisations while two are affiliated to right-wing students' body, the police said.

According to a report by India Today however, the situation may be more convoluted than believed. The publication spoke to an ABVP-affiliated individual, who by his own admission "did all the mobilisation" and actively took part in the attack.

Identifying himself from footage of the attack, first year French degree student Akshat Awasthi told the publication that he had beaten up "a man with a flowing beard" who "looked like a Kashmiri". He was also quoted as saying that he "broke the gate with my kicks".

Reportedly, Awasthi was seen on footage of the attack armed with a stick and with his face covered by a helmet.

Also Read: Hindutva outfit claims responsibility for JNU violence

On Friday, while addressing a press conference, DCP (Crime Branch), Joy Tirkey, said that specific rooms in the university's Periyar hostel were targeted. Here, another self professed participant, Rohit Shah's comments may be able to shed some light.

"I told them it's an ABVP room and they walked away," he told India Today.

Acording to the Delhi Police, several people including Aishe Ghosh attacked students in the hostel. The JNUSU President however has denied this, accusing the police of "bias".

"My complaint has not been filed as an FIR. I have not carried out any assault," she said.

According to Awasthi, the attack was a "reaction to their action" -- a response to alleged assault by left leaning individuals on Periyar hostel on January 5. He claimed that he called in ABVP leaders from a separate outside campus. The idea of donning masks, according to him, came from the Left.

Recounting the attack he told the publication, "They had no idea that the ABVP would ever retaliate like this."

Also Read: 'Left design in JNU unmasked': Smriti Irani slams mob for 'destroying public property'

According to Awasthi, the police were encouraging when it came to the attack and even encouraged people to "hit them, hit them".

"They were inside the campus not outside. I had called the police myself after a student was injured at Periyar," Awasthi claimed.

According to an earlier report, an FIR registered by a police officer said that the police waited for almost three hours before taking any action against the masked mob that attacked students and teachers and also vandalised campus property.

The FIR registered against unknown persons revealed that the police were present on the campus at 3:45 pm when the students were attacked ear Periyar hostel. The police near the university had received information that a bunch of students had gathered near Periyar hostel, beating up other students and had also damaged public property.

According to the complainant, the police had received a request from the JNU administration urging them to bring the situation under control. This however contradicts Delhi police public relations officer MS Randhawa who said they had received a request from the JNU administration at 7:45 pm.

(With inputs from agencies)