Giving Clean-Chit to its Own Personnel in January JNU Violence Case, Delhi Police Takes Credit for Restoration of Peace

Delhi Police’s fact finding committee gives a clean-chit to its own personnel in the JNU January violence case, claiming that it was police presence that restored normalcy on the campus premises.

A protest outside the JNU Gate against the violence that broke out inside the campus premises on January 5
A protest outside the JNU Gate against the violence that broke out inside the campus premises on January 5

There is now a new development in the JNU violence case which erupted in the month of January, earlier this year. The Delhi Police fact finding committee that was constituted and given the task of investigating the violence that had broken out inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on January 5 has finally given a clean chit to its personnel according to the latest report published in The Indian Express. This investigation was carried out for almost one year and after the prolonged period of investigation, the committee has passed on a clear chit to the police personnel. The committee has said that the situation of the campus was quite tense on the day of the violence and could only be brought under control because of the intervention of the police forces. This conclusion has in most probability been drawn from the testimonials of police officers who were on duty on that day.

The January 5 violence that broke out inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus allegedly took place when a mob that supposedly comprised of students from the ABVP who were armed with sticks and hammered entered the JNU campus and attacked students and teachers in the evening hours, injuring more than 34 people. Later on, several journalists were also heckled and abused at the university gate as they came to report about the violence that has unfolded on the campus by several right wing activists. No arrests have been made in this case so far even while an FIR was registered and the case was also transferred to the CBI. One of the commonly articulated complaints against the police at that time was that it did nothing to protect the students and teachers of JNU while they were being attached and heckled by the mob and they did nothing to stop the violence, it has also been alleged that they allowed the attachers to freely enter and exit the campus too.

It was on January 6 that a panel was created to probe into the violence and this panel was headed by the Joint Commissioner of Police(Western Range) Shalini Singh. The committee included four inspectors and two assistant commissioners of police. During the investigation, the District Commissioner of Police(South-West) Devender Arya, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ramesh Kakkar and Station House Officer Vasant Kunj(North) Rituraj had been questioned. The investigation also recorded the statements made by police officers who were stationed at the university’s administrative block on that day. The High Court had given orders for the deployment of police personnel to make sure that students and teachers are not allowed to protest within the 100 metre radius of the vice-chancellor’s office. 

According to a report published in The Indian Express, all the police officers had made similar statements about the unfolding of events on that day and asserted that they had been given the task of ensuring that no protests or dharnas took place near the administrative block, the report said that none of the police personnel stationed on campus were carrying any weapons or sticks. 

The PCR calls began from around 2.30pm and most of them were made from inside the campus. Most of these calls were about beating up of students at the Periyar Hostel and incidences of quarrels and fights breaking out in various pockets of the campus. 

DCP Arya visited the campus and said that things were normal inside the campus as he retired back to the main gate of the campus. The officials also showed a WhatsApp message by JNU VC M Jagadesh Kumar sent to police officers Arya and Rituraj which asked them to be stationed at the university’s gates. It was later in the evening around 7.45 pm that Registrar Pramod Kumar handed over the official letter to Delhi Police demanding that the presence of police be increased inside the campus premises.

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