An hour after the Delhi police addressed a press conference to release the names of accused in the violent attacks that took place at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the telecast of a sting operation by India Today TV had two JNU students confessing on camera to attacking people on campus and leading the masked mob. The students also said that they were from ABVP.
The sting operation has raised several questions on the Delhi Police’s investigation and role in stopping or rather allowing the attacks to take place.
A BA (French) student confessed on camera to have “led the mob attack at Sabarmati hostel.” He said that the first attack happened on Periyar Hostel and it was a reaction to it. The student can be heard saying, “I picked a stick from a flag lying near Periyar. I mobilised people to attack Sabarmati hostel.”
He also said that he called the Organizational Secretary of ABVP who is his friend. The student confessed to having attacked a man on suspicion of him being a Kashmiri, he said, “There was a man with a flowing beard. He looked like a Kashmiri. I beat him up and then broke the gate with my kicks.”
The same student also said on camera that the police on campus encouraged violence. “I had called police myself after a student was injured at Periyar,” he said.
The second student also a BA (French) student was recorded saying that he gave his “helmet as it is a must for safety when you break glass”. He also said there were 20 ABVP activists from JNU in the mob.
However, according to the Indian Express, ABVP’s national secretary Nidhi Tripathi later denied both the students’ claims of being affiliated with ABVP. She said, “I don’t know either of these two individuals who are being named. They are not members of the ABVP, and they have not been given any responsibilities by the ABVP. You can’t say that someone is from the ABVP just because they are claiming they are. It can be checked if the ABVP has ever given them any responsibilities.”
Another student, an AISA activist was recorded on camera confessing to having shut down the university servers. The student who was later contacted by the paper said, “How can the reaction to this incident be ABVP’s violence on us? We accept admin work had stopped because of our protest. Then they should have come and talked to us; who is the ABVP to come and hit us?”
JNU campus has been simmering with tension after a group of masked people attacked several students on campus. The injured were mostly pro-Left student union activists, who have accused the right-wing ABVP.
The ABVP activists have on the other hand, accused pro-Left students of starting the cycle of violence.