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JNU violence: VC informed late, we acted swiftly, recount police insiders

The vice-chancellor has been facing criticism for not acting swiftly when the students were being attacked by a mob on Sunday evening

Jawaharlal Nehru University | JNU Protest | Delhi Police

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, JNU vice-chancellor, JNU
Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, vice-chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi. (Photo: Dalip Kumar)

Even as a masked mob ran riot at JNU on Sunday assaulting students, vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar sent a message for deployment of police outside the main gate only at 6.45 pm, and the force entered the premises an hour later when the attackers had dispersed, police sources have said.

The vice-chancellor has been facing criticism for not acting swiftly when the students were being attacked by a mob on Sunday evening.

The varsity had been on a boil since afternoon. Earlier, at around 3.45 pm, the police control room (PCR) received the first call about the violence from the varsity's Periyar hostel.

The police immediately responded to the call. The policemen, who were deployed at the administration block following an earlier high court directive, were asked to go to the spot, the sources said.

At Periyar Hostel, some people attacked students with batons. However, the group did not enter the hostel. Around 17 PCR calls were received from Periyar hostel till around 4.15 pm, the sources said.

After dispersing the crowd at Periyar hostel, the police personnel returned to the administration block of the varsity.

Around 5-5.15 pm, DCP (southwest) Devender Arya entered the campus. He also visited the Periyar hostel and inspected the situation.

He, however, returned to the main gate of the university after "ensuring" that the situation was normal, the sources said.

After the incident at the Periyar hostel, the main gate of JNU varsity was closed and entry was not allowed. The police was deployed at the north gate of the varsity, sources said.

However, the violence continued inside the campus.

The sources said the Vasant Kunj North police station incharge and 20 officials from each station of the district were called in to maintain law and order.

The police again received a PCR call around 5.30-5.45 pm which said around 700 people had entered the university. The police personnel deployed at the administration block were sent again, but they did not find any gathering.

When the PCR called back the caller, the mobile phone was found to be switched off, sources said.

The students, most of them belonging to the ABVP, disrupted a peace march of the JNU Teachers Association at the T-point of Sabarmati hostel, sources said.

After disrupting the march, the group entered the Sabarmati hostel and vandalised the gates and windows. In the meantime, the students from the left group were mobilised leading to a scuffle, the sources pointed out.

Nearly, an hour later, at around 6.45 pm, the JNU vice-chancellor sent a message urging police to increase the police deployment at the main gate of the varsity as the situation in the campus could become tense after which police were deployed outside, the sources said.

Later, at around 7.30-7.45 pm, police received a written letter from the JNU administration to intervene. But by the time the police intervened, the mob had already dispersed.

JNU Students Union president Aishe Ghosh was taken to the ambulance by the DCP from the east gate of the varsity.

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First Published: Thu, January 09 2020. 17:25 IST