While fingers were being pointed at Delhi police for inactiveness in probing the attack on JNU students, many of those involved have admitted to their participation in the violence that unfolded in JNU campus on January 5, an India Today’s Special Investigation revealed.
The attackers accepted that they plotted the assault on the left-leaning students with the support from the right-wing groups outside.
As the nation protests against the attack on students, India Today investigation unmasked one of the prime attackers on camera, who confessed that he mobilised the attackers from within and outside the campus premises.
— India Today (@IndiaToday) January 10, 2020
A first-year student of the French degree program at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Akshat Awasthi who identifies himself as an activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) admitted being an attacker.
Awasthi is a resident of the JNU’s Kaveri hostel on campus.
Awasthi, in the sting operation, shows a video of him running through the hostel corridors, armed with a stick and wearing a helmet. He also boasts about attacking students on his way.
“What did you have in your hand?” an undercover reporter asks Awasthi.
“It was a stick, sir. I pulled it out from a flag lying near the Periyar hostel,” Awasthi replies.
“Did you hit someone?” the reporter asks, to which Awasthi replies, “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.”
“I come from an area in Kanpur where goondas [goons] are common in every street. I used to watch them,” Awasthi claimed.
Talking about the motive behind the attack, Awasthi said that it was in response to an assault allegedly by the Left students on Periyar hostel the same day earlier.
Awasthi named a few office-bearers of the ABVP from a separate campus outside while explaining how the attackers mobilised.
Naming an ABVP functionary, Awasthi explained: “He’s an organizational secretary of the ABVP. I called him. Left-wing students and teachers were holding a meeting at Sabarmati. When Sabarmati was attacked, they all ran away and took shelter inside.”
“You were telling us that 20 of the ABVP activists belonged to the JNU and 20 others were mobilised from outside,” the reporter asked Awasthi.
“I can tell you that I did all the mobilization. They don’t have that much mind…Why it’s to be done and where exactly. I guided them about everything — where to hide, where to go. I told them to do everything systematically. I didn’t have any position or a tag. Still, they listened to me carefully,” he answered.
“I not only mobilised them but channelled their anger in the right direction,” Awasthi told the media.
Another student, Rohit Shah, confessed that he lent his helmet to Awasthi before he set out on the attack. He said the mob did not attack an ABVP room in the hostel after the resident said that he was affiliated with the ABVP.
In the sting operation, Rohit Shah confessed that there were 20 ABVP activists from the JNU who were involved in the Sunday attack.
Akshat Awasthi accepted on tape that a police officer on duty supported the mob to beat up the Left students.
“The police were inside the campus not outside. I had called the police myself after a student was injured at Periyar. He met Manish(another student) and said ‘hit them, hit them’,” Awasthi claimed.
Akshat Awasthi also claimed that the police helped the attackers by switching off the lights at the time of the incident.
He identified several other people, including a masked woman, in the mob.
The police earlier today broke their silence and accused JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh and other students affiliated to left-wing organisations as main culprits in the violence.
“The investigation regarding the criminal cases filed in connection with the JNU violence incident is being carried out by the Crime Branch. But it has been observed that a lot of misinformation related to these cases is being circulated,” Delhi Police PRO, MS Randhawa said.