At least 30 students and teachers have been injured after they were allegedly attacked by alleged members of right-wing students’ group in New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday.
The violence followed a public meeting organised by the JNU Teachers Association in connection with a rise in hostel charges for the students announced some weeks ago.
JNU Students Union, led by left-wing groups, said its president, Aishe Ghosh, and many other students were injured in stone-pelting and attacks by members of right-wing students’ group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
ABVP which is the students wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that its members were attacked by left-wing student groups.
Videos on social media appeared to show a group of several masked attackers roaming the campus brandishing rods and sticks, singling out students and teachers and vandalising property.
The prestigious university counts top Indian politicians including Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and this year’s Nobel economics prize winner Abhijit Banerjee among its alumni.
Jaishankar took to Twitter to condemn the violence, saying, “This is completely against the tradition and culture of the university.”
The home minister, Amit Shah, called on Delhi police to investigate.
Meanwhile, the police have been accused of doing little other than blocking the institution gates at a time when the assailants were going from hostel to hostel, indiscriminately assaulting students and faculty members with blunt weapons.
Meanwhile, the attack has triggered a fresh wave of protests across multiple universities and cities of India. In Mumbai, students from across educational institutions gathered at the Gateway of India and raised slogans.
In Lucknow people from civil society, college teachers and students sit on a dharna to protest against attack on JNU.
Students of the Aligarh Muslim University took out a candlelight march, while students in Hyderabad held a demonstration. Kolkata’s Jadavpur University and Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India also joined in the protests.
Protests were also held at Town Hall in Bengaluru.