Akshat Seth, secretary of SFI, JNU, says the press conference of police was based on ‘selective evidence’.


New Delhi: Akshat Seth, secretary of Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) unit, spoke to The Sunday Guardian on the recent violence on the campus. Excerpts:

Q: Tell us about the violence that broke out in JNU campus on Sunday?

A: The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) was behind all the violence that broke out since 4 January. On 4 January, the ABVP, along with teachers affiliated to the RSS, had attacked the students outside the School of International Studies (SIS) and School of Biotechnology where the server room is located. Several students got injured during the violence. We have video grabs to support our claim. After this incident, we had even organised a “peace rally” in the campus.

However, the ABVP came next day to the School of Social Sciences (SSS) to again attack students. Tapan Bihari, an ex-ABVP activist who is now warden of Periyar hostel, was among those attackers. All our wardens have been changed and now most of the wardens belong to a particular ideology. The sequence of the 5 January incident is somewhat like this: The ABVP started the violence in SSS-1 in the morning. They were beating some students with sticks and rods to spread fear among the students. After this, the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) called for a peace rally in the afternoon.

When other students got to know about the violence by the ABVP, some students went to the area to assess the situation. When these students reached the Periyar hostel, ABVP activists started pelting stones from the premises of the hostel. This led to a clash between the students and ABVP in front of the hostel.

After the incident, they created a WhatsApp group and organised an attack on the JNUTA’s peace rally which was happening outside the Sabarmati hostel. They also ransacked the Sabarmati hostel. Everyone knows about the conversation in the WhatsApp group and how goons from outside were given entry into the university campus to create mayhem.

Q: Can you tell us what about the video where Aishe Ghosh is being seen with a masked mob?

A: Aishe Ghosh is the president of JNUSU. The video is from Periyar hostel. She had gone there to control the situation and it was she who controlled the situation in the Periyar hostel.

Q: The Delhi Police have named her as one of the suspects who were involved in the violence. What do you want to say on this?

A: The police played a very biased role. When the ABVP goons from outside entered the campus and attacked us, the police were acting in a very passive manner. They even helped the attackers to escape from the campus. Despite Aishe Ghosh’s repeated calls and messages to the police to stop the violence, they did nothing. Now, the police officials are implicating Ghosh for the violence. The press conference of Delhi Police was totally based on “selective evidence”. The Delhi Police had selectively taken the names of Left-aligned students’ organisations. Why did they not take ABVP’s name? It clearly shows the political bias of the Delhi Police.

Q: There has been an allegation that Left-aligned organisations had stopped students from registering for the next semester. Is it true?

A: There was no attack on students who went for their registration. Some students have already done their registrations. However, the important fact is that besides students who are affiliated to the ABVP and their sympathisers, no one did their registration.

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