JNU violence: Delhi Police gives self-clean chit on January 5 campus violence
JNU violence: A committee that was formed of Delhi Police to probe into the January 5 violence in the JNU campus and to investigate any police negligence has given a clean chit to the local police.
On January 5, Jawaharlal Nehru University’s prestigious campus was ransacked for over 4 hours by around 100 masked people with sticks and rods, leaving 36 students, staff and teachers injured. FIR was registered and the case was later transferred to Crime Branch, but no arrests were made.
While the campus was being vandalized, the police remained outside the campus and didn’t enter. This was the focal point of probing. In contrast, the police action in Jamia Milia campus earlier in December was highly criticized where the police barged in and had apparently beaten up students in campus library. Police maintain their stand in this relation that post Jamia incident they were waiting for campus authorities at JNU to permit them entry to pursuit the rioters.
Under instructions of then Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, a committee was formed to probe and investigate the whole incident. The committee is headed by Joint Commissioner of Police (Western Range) Shalini Singh, and includes 2 ACPs and 4 inspectors.
Statements were recorded of then DCP (south-west) Devender Arya, then ACP Ramesh Kakkar, SHO Vasant Kunj (North) Rituraj, and Inspector Anand Yadav, who was stationed at the administrative block on the January 5 morning. The posting was done post High Court’s orders to deploy personnel, ensuring no protests happened within a 100-metre radius of the block where the office of Vice-Chancellor is.
Sources reveal that all the officials gave similar unfolding of January 5 events in their statements. On January 5, 27 police personnel came for their 8 am shift at the block in plainclothes and left in night.
Report by committee mentions that between 3:45 pm to 4:15 pm around 8 PCR calls were made, but they were related to students scuffle in Periyar hostel. Later from 4:15 pm to 6 pm, 14 PCR calls were made regarding student quarrels.
An official said, “DCP Arya visited the campus along with his subordinates around 5-5.15 pm, but returned to the main gate as the situation appeared normal at the time. The officials during enquiry also showed Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar’s WhatsApp message, which was sent at 6.24 pm to Arya, the ACP and the SHO, asking them to be stationed at the gates. At 7.45 pm, Registrar Pramod Kumar handed over an official letter to Delhi Police, seeking increased presence and deployment on the premises.”
Committee later established as per the statements and findings that the campus had been witnessing lot of scuffles throughout the day and was later brought under control through police intervention.