‘JNU Students Attacked for Two Consecutive Days, Admin Looks Away’
JNU student Dripta Sarangi recounts the events of 4 and 5 January, at JNU. 
JNU student Dripta Sarangi recounts the events of 4 and 5 January, at JNU. (Photo: Shruti Mathur/The Quint)

‘JNU Students Attacked for Two Consecutive Days, Admin Looks Away’

I protested for affordable and inclusive education. Instead, I got a broken leg and intense psychological trauma.

From day one, I was an active participant of the JNU students’ movement against the steep fee hike. I observed how a university in its entirety claimed the streets to demand their right to affordable and inclusive education. In the last 70 days, we've been beaten up thrice by the Delhi Police. We have been detained and injured. But what we as a university witnessed happening on 4 and 5 January, will forever remain a blot on JNU’s history.

On 4 January, we pleaded the students to boycott the registration process that had been introduced by the administration.

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We were protesting peacefully outside the School of Biotechnology, chanting "No registration without affordable education," when some, presumably from the ABVP, turned up with sticks and rods and started beating up protestors mercilessly. The media barely covered this.

They specifically targeted women students and made sexually offensive statements, including rape threats. When I started shouting at them, these goons kicked me down on the floor and started kicking my lower body. Apeksha Priyadarshini, a PhD student tried to rescue me from the mob. Amid the frenzy, she also got beaten.

Eventually, I was rescued by my friends and taken to the AIIMS Trauma Centre where along with me, my friends Udita Halder, Apeksha, the JNUSU General Secretary Satish and others were admitted. I was diagnosed with a fracture on the fibula of my right leg. I have been advised complete bed rest for a month. Apeksha and Udita also returned with fractures on their hands.

The State and state machinery are to be blamed for this attack. The indifferent VC of JNU, JNUTF, and the ABVP, are responsible for my condition.

I came back to my hostel – Koyna – the same day but not to my room as it was not on the ground floor.

Last evening, there was word about masked goons inflicting violence upon students and they had assaulted Aishe Ghosh, the JNUSU President as well as Sucharita ma'am, a faculty of JNU.

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‘Locked Ourselves in Hostel Rooms’

We saw videos of these goons ransacking Sabarmati Hostel and beating up students with rods, cricket bats and hammers. We were traumatised inside our hostel rooms. We switched off the lights and locked ourselves inside the rooms, wondering if it would soon be our turn to be attacked.

They targeted Koyna as well, but couldn't create as much harm as they did at Sabarmati.

My friends who were hiding with me said it was probably their last day. Everyone was calling their parents and loved ones.

The situation was thankfully better after midnight. I spoke to my parents who were very much supportive of the cause we're fighting for. Many of my friends suffered minor and major injuries. Two of my classmates, Mahiya and Soori have also sustained serious injuries. Both were beaten up yesterday with rods.

Today, i.e. the morning after, the campus is unusually quiet. Images of shattered glasses, broken windows, and even of the broken glass of the vandalised ambulance which was denied entry inside the campus are circulating. There is some police presence. A couple of people have gone to their local guardians’ homes. Some have hurriedly booked tickets to go back to their families.

Also Read : JNU Student Violence: What Happened at Ground Zero

How were 100-odd people allowed to enter the university premises?

Will the administration take responsibility for what happened to me and many other students? Isn’t the administration answerable to us? Who is responsible for students’ safety? The JNU administration is utterly incompatible and has failed to carry out its duty.

Sadly, my plaster won't allow me to go to any protest for a month now. However, until the fee hike is taken back in toto and the VC resigns, our fight will continue. We will simultaneously fight and oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act and the all-India NRC.

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(The author is a masters’ student of Linguistics at Jawaharlal Nehru University. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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