The incident late Sunday at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi was the latest violent turn in weeks of unrest across much of India after the passage of a controversial citizenship law championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government.
Videos posted on social media showed attackers with bandanas covering their faces, wielding rods while roaming darkened hallways, and injured students with bloodied faces. 21 students named in the FIR are also accused of vandalising, blocking the server room, attacking the security guards and creating a ruckus in the registration process.
Mumbai: A police officer said that people who protested the JNU's violence were driven out of Gateway of India on Tuesday morning because the streets were blocked and tourists and ordinary people faced problems. The police have been severely criticised for entering Jamia Millia Islamia in December without permission.
Delhi's chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, said: "How will the country progress if our students will not be safe inside (the university) campus?"
Responding to allegations that the police response had been slow and ineffective, Delhi Police spokesperson Mandeep Singh Randhawa said, "We responded to PCR calls as soon as we got them and handled the law and order situation professionally". In Delhi, protesters also gathered outside a police station urging authorities to punish those responsible for attacking the JNU students.
Randhawa stated that the Delhi Police is committed to solving the case regarding JNU violence on a timely basis.
Witnesses said police allowed the mob to go after students and their defenders.
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"This clearly indicates that an attempt is being made at the behest of the government to intimidate students. The incident yesterday on the JNU campus is a very low point in our post independence history", Errol D'Souza, director of IIM Ahmedabad said in a tweet.
"It happened in the national capital in India's foremost University under the watch of Central govt, Home Minister, LG and Police Commissioner". The administration and right-wing groups had opposed the protests.
The police inaction at JNU contrasted with their use of excessive force against demonstrators, including many students, protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act in recent weeks.
The university claimed the complaints were sent much earlier. We can't tolerate this. "Those who are trying to malign and destroy this university will not succeed", JNUSU said in a statement on Monday.
Jawaharlal Nehru University, with its history of progressive education, is considered a bastion of liberalism in the country.
"For the past four-five days, some RSS-affiliated professors have been promoting violence to break our movement against the hostel fee hike".
The accounts and the university's history of activism led many to reject the ABVP's assertions that left-wing students carried out the attack.