JNU Violence: Police’s Fact-Finding Panel Gives Itself Clean Chit

The committee probed the “sequence of events” and “police negligence” and has given the force a clean chit.

Published
India
3 min read
A screenshot of the masked mob attacking students and vandalising JNU’s Sabarmati Hostel.
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A Delhi Police fact-finding committee formed to probe the role of the police in the violence that had broken out in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 5 January has given the force a clean chit, according to the Indian Express. The committee probed the “sequence of events” and allegations of “police negligence”.

The committee recorded the statement of 27 police officers who were stationed and concluded that “police intervention brought the situation under control”, reported the Indian Express.

Headed by Joint Commissioner of Police (Western Range) Shalini Singh, the committee was formed on the instructions of the then police commissioner Amulya Patnaik, and comprised four inspectors and two ACPs, reported the daily.

The police was criticised for not intervening in the violence that occurred inside the JNU campus but the cops maintain they were awaiting permission from university officials.

Violence broke out at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 5 January night after masked men and women attacked students and teachers and damaged property in the campus, prompting the administration to call in the police. At least 30 people were injured and admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.

JNU Students’ Union President Aishe Ghosh suffered a head injury. The JNU administration said, “Masked miscreants armed with sticks were roaming around, damaging property and attacking people”.

According to a report in the Indian Express, the Delhi Police enquiry committee recorded the statements of the then deputy commissioner of police (DCP) (south-west) Devender Arya, the then ACP Ramesh Kakkar, SHO Vasant Kunj (North) Rituraj, and Inspector Anand Yadav.

Inspector Yadav was stationed at the administrative block on 5 January after the high court’s order to prevent any protests within a 100-metre radius of the block where the Vice-Chancellor has his office.

“Their job was to ensure compliance with the high court order directing police to ensure that no dharna or protest takes place within 100 metres of the admin block. All those police personnel did not have any weapons or lathis,” an official told Indian Express.

Twenty seven police personnel in plainclothes, including women, had arrived for duty at the JNU Administration Block, reported Indian Express.

In their report, the committee mentioned that eight Police Control Room (PCR) calls were made from 3.45 pm to 4.15 pm, which were mainly related to beating of students at Periyar hostel. Later, 14 PCR calls, about isolated incidents of quarrels and gathering by students, were made from 4.15 pm to 6 pm.

“The PCR call started from 2.30 pm and in total, 23 calls were made from inside the campus to the police,” a senior officer said to Indian Express.

“DCP Arya visited the campus along with his subordinates around 5-5.15 pm, but returned to the main gate as the situation appeared normal at the time. The officials during enquiry also showed Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar’s WhatsApp message, which was sent at 6.24 pm to Arya, the ACP and the SHO, asking them to be stationed at the gates. At 7.45 pm, Registrar Pramod Kumar handed over an official letter to Delhi Police, seeking increased presence and deployment on the premises,” the officer said to Indian Express.

He told the Indian Express that all police personnel gave similar statements while explaining the sequence of events of the 5 January violence.

(With inputs from Indian Express)

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