JNU Attack: Why Was Delhi Police a Mute Spectator?

The chaos at JNU leads to the question, does the rule of law prevail? Or is this a ‘jungle raj’?

Published07 Jan 2020, 12:00 PM IST
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3 min read

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

Jawaharlal Nehru University, one of India’s most prestigious universities, witnessed unprecedented violence on Sunday, 5 January. An armed, masked mob barged into the campus and attacked whoever came in its way. It trashed hostel rooms, beat up students, and even professors.

The Delhi Police first failed to prevent the attackers, and then, even after 24 hours, it has not arrested those who turned the varsity’s campus into a battle field. The finance minister and foreign minister — both JNU alumni — said that the pictures emerging from the JNU campus were horrifying.

Does Delhi Police have answers to the questions raised by the leaders? So how smart is Delhi Police, and whose rule is this country really under?

Delhi Police: A Mute Spectator?

JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh claims that the students had called the police for help, but the cops reached the spot only two hours later. The police, however, maintain that they reached the spot immediately.

But if the police did reach the university immediately, then why is social media flooded with pictures of the attack? Why could the police not put an end to the violence? Were the cops mere spectators standing outside the gates? Some videos clearly reveal what happened.

Swaraj India’s president Yogendra Yadav was manhandled at the JNU gate but the police did nothing. Bhasha’s reporter Kumari Sneha says when she tried to click a photograph of the barricade at the university’s gate, 40-50 people approached her and began harassing her. Sneha identified herself as a journalist and even produced her ID card, but the crowd continued to heckle her. They even kicked her – and all this happened in front of the police.

Now let’s address what happened inside the campus. The police say that safety within the campus isn’t their responsibility. Then, on what basis did they enter Jamia Millia Islamia’s campus?

The Allegations

There are allegations that the members of the ABVP attacked students in JNU. There are also allegations that anti-Left forces attacked JNU, with the support of the police. After violence ensued, Nobel laureate Abhijeet Banerjee said that the attack on JNU reminded him of the Nazi rule.

ABVP has also made some allegations. They claim that students associated with the left forces started the violence. Whether there’s truth to these claims is subject to investigation.

However, one thing that is clear is that prestigious universities like JNU, and earlier, Jamia, were attacked in the dark. The chaos leads to the question, does the rule of law prevail? Or is this a ‘jungle raj’?

Given the circumstances, I am reminded of this advertisement on TV which says, ‘Iss Sheher ko yeh hua kya, kahin raakh hai toh kahin dhuan dhuan’ ...

It’s not just JNU that has witnessed witnessed violence – across Uttar Pradesh, Section 144 has been imposed till 31 January. Several people who participated in the anti-CAA protests have been killed. Who is responsible for this situation?

There were allegations that in UP, the cops stormed inside homes and wreaked havoc. Even if these allegations are false, the police and their political masters should, at least, be called out for their inability to maintain peace. Delhi Police falls under the Central Government. BJP is in power at the Centre. BJP is in power in Uttar Pradesh as well.

This is the same party whose leaders have claimed across the world that everything in the country is in order. But as Alia Bhatt said, it’s time to stop pretending that everything is fine.

This page was originally published on Quint Hindi.

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