JNU ‘plot’ finger at VC, faculty and security
A Congress fact-finding committee that probed the JNU violence has accused vice-chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar of being the “mastermind” and suggested he “should be in jail”, and indicated it would move court if the attacked students were denied justice.
“The vice-chancellor should be in jail; he is the mastermind who plotted this in connivance with some of the Right-wing faculty members and the security company (that guards the campus),” Sushmita Dev, head of the fact-finding committee, told a news conference on Sunday.
“When we submitted our report, Sonia Gandhi asked general secretary K.C. Venugopal to consult lawyers and take judicial recourse if needed.”
Some of the committee’s recommendations:
⚫ “The vice-chancellor should be dismissed immediately and an independent inquiry should be set up to look at all appointments made from 27/01/2016 (the date of his appointment).”
⚫ “A criminal investigation must be initiated against the VC, the company that provides security service and members of the faculty who conspired with the attackers…. The security company’s contract must be immediately terminated.”
⚫ “Independent judicial enquiry into the (violence), fixing of accountability of the commissioner of Delhi police and other police officials because of the failure to act on the emergency calls by the students and faculty members, and immediate rollback of the (hostel) fee hike.”
A masked, rod-wielding mob had stormed the campus on January 5 and attacked supporters of the Leftist-led students’ union, which has been resisting the registration process for the new semester in protest at a hostel fee hike. Students and teachers have alleged the mob was led by RSS student arm ABVP, and that the police just stood by. The police have linked all the four Leftist students’ bodies on campus to the violence but not the ABVP, prompting accusations of bias.
“This was targeted violence to intimidate and instil fear into the students and faculty. Many suffered serious injuries, which could have been fatal,” Dev said.
Students’ union president Aishe Ghosh and a professor, Sucharita Sen, had received serious head injuries.
“The people who attacked were systematically mobilised from inside and outside…. There is sufficient evidence that (they) were allowed free passage while entering and exiting the campus by the security company (Cyclops P Ltd) on duty,” Dev said.
She accused teacher “Tapan Bihari, warden of Periyar Hostel” of involvement and wondered “how so many sticks, hammers, etc, were available on campus or were brought in unless there was support of the security guards and some members of the faculty”.
“WhatsApp groups like ‘Friends of RSS’ & ‘Unity against Left’ that were used to mobilise and provoke people to attack the students and faculty on campus speaks volumes about the ideology of the people involved in the attack.”
The Congress report highlights that the attackers selectively spared Right-wing students and teachers at the Sabarmati Hostel and outside it.
“The entire episode of the disconnection of the Internet services (server) reeks of mala fides. There is much more than what meets the eye and this needs to be thoroughly investigated,” it says.
“The police FIR complains about students disconnecting the server on January 3 and 4. But the press release of the VC says it was functioning on January 4 and many students did registration. If the server could be restored immediately after disconnection on January 3, why was it not restarted on January 5 when it was disconnected again on January 4? Is it because the VC and other staff knew of the attack on January 5 and ensured the CCTV cameras didn’t work?”
Dev said the electricity blackout during the attack suggested the state’s complicity. She asked why a case of attempt to murder was not filed over the attack on Ghosh.