Terror at Tea Point: How it all began at JNU

The appearance of masked men armed with hockey sticks took a faculty meeting taking place at Tea Point by surprise

New Delhi: Sources said the violence at JNU Sunday started at around 5 PM just as a public meeting was organised by the JNU Teachers' Association was ending.

R Mahalaxmi, a professor in the History Department, said, "We had organised a peace meet at the Tea Point at 5 pm. As soon as it got over, we saw that a large number of people entered the campus and they started arbitrarily attacking teachers and students."

They were masked men armed with hockey sticks. They went around damaging property and attacking people. Students alleged that attackers entered hostels and assaulted students and teachers. Video footage aired by some TV channels showed a group of men moving around a building.

Among those brutally attacked was the JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh. In a video shared online, Ghosh could be seen bleeding from the head. "I have been brutally beaten up by people wearing masks.... I was there with one of my activists when I was brutally beaten up. I am not even able to talk," she is heard saying in the video.

"How did such a large number of people with rods in their hands enter the campus? That is what we are wondering about. I think they were political activists instigated by the people who always call us anti-nationals," Pradeep Shinde, another professor, said.

First reports coming out of campus captured the disorientation on campus. "They are pelting bricks...getting into hostels and beating up students. Several teachers have also been beaten up," the JNUSU claimed in its first report. "ABVP members wearing masks are moving around on campus with lathis, rods and hammers."

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) alleged that it was Left student organisations SFI, AISA and DSF who were behind the violence. "Around 25 of our students have been seriously injured in the attack and there is no information about the whereabouts of 11 students. Many ABVP members are being attacked in hostels and the hostels are being vandalised by the Leftist goons," the ABVP claimed.

The JNU admininstration too appeared taken aback by the developments. It issued a statement alert students and faculty to the violence on campus.

The registrar Pramod Kumar said in the statement, "This is an urgent message for the entire JNU community that there is a law and order situation on the campus.... The JNU administration has called the police to maintain order."

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