Delhi police baton-charged and detained students of New Delhi based Jawaharlal Nehru University who were mobilizing near the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) on January 9. The students, along with teachers and citizens had organized a protest march from Mandi House to MHRD to demand the removal of university vice-chancellor (VC) M Jagadesh Kumar. The students allege that he was complicit in the attack on students and teachers by right wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on January 05.
The march first reached the MHRD office, where a delegation of the JNU students’ union (JNUSU) and teachers went to submit a memorandum of demands to the officials. After talks with the MHRD officials failed, students decided to march to the official residence of the President of India, called Rashtrapati Bhawan. When the students attempted to proceed, the police unleashed violence, baton charging and detaining many students.
Lathi Charge on JNU students marching to the Rashtrapati Bhawan pic.twitter.com/bMnDBR7509
— ✩ (@Insane_Insaan) January 9, 2020
For the last two months, students at JNU have been participating in a massive strike against an arbitrary hostel fee hike. Police attempted to suppress the movement several times by attacking the students’ mobilizations as occurred on November 18 and in December. Last week, the students organized a boycott of the registration process for the winter semester.
The attack on students and teachers on Sunday evening by the ABVP goons occurred in the context of the growing momentum of the students strike. Among those who were severely injured in the attacks is Aishe Ghosh, the president of JNUSU who has been extremely active in the organization of the strike and protest actions.
During the six hours of violence on Sunday, neither the university administration or the Delhi police took any initiative to protect students and teachers, who were hounded and attacked. Even when right-wing thugs attacked an ambulance attempting to provide medical aid to injured students, Delhi police refused to intervene and served merely as spectators to the barbarie.