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Day after attacks, JNU becomes rallying cry for pan-India student protests; no arrests yet

NEW DELHI: With no arrests yet in the apparently planned attack on students and teachers at the Jawarharlal Nehru University, protests were held across India on Monday and the clamour grew for the resignation of the vice chancellor who is being blamed for inaction during the violence that left 34 people injured.

As horrific first-person accounts emerged of the attack on Sunday evening, including on JNU Students Union president Aishe Ghosh, Delhi Police said that they have transferred the case to the Crime Branch, which claimed to have found “vital clues”.

Politicians of all parties condemned the violence. The opposition and JNU students blamed the ABVP, the students’ wing of the BJP for the violence, and accused the Delhi Police of inaction. The BJP said campuses should not become political battleground.

On Sunday, a mob of masked young people stormed the JNU campus in south Delhi and systematically targeted students in three hostels, unleashing mayhem with sticks, stones and iron rods, hitting inmates and breaking windows, furniture and personal belongings. They also attacked a women’s hostel.

I was specifically targeted on Sunday during a peace march on campus. Around 20-25 masked persons disrupted the march and attacked me with iron rods, union president Ghosh, her head swathed in bandages, told PTI after being released from hospital earlier Monday. She received at least 15 stitches on the head, and her arm was in a cast after the attack.

The ABVP has denied being responsible, and in turn, has blamed Ghosh’s Left-supported union of stage managing the violence. It also claimed that many of its activists were injured, but has not presented any to the media.