JNU‘s fee hike fight an eyesore for the admin and Govt.?

Evidence points out at ABVP’s involvement and the complicity of the administration and Delhi Police

JNUImage Courtesy: indiatoday.in

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has now for some time been in the throes of controversy and has become a hotbed of violence against students.

On January 5, 2020, alleged right-wing goons from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) unleashed their horror on the students and teachers alike, beating them up with iron rods, brutally injuring them and damaging property at the campus.

Since then, news channels have erupted with shrill opinions, some claiming that the Left leaders themselves staged a fake attack to paint a false picture of the right-wing and others claiming that it was in fact an attack by the ABVP to quell the ongoing strike at the JNU.

What actually happened?

Since November 2019, JNU has been fighting for affordable education ever since the Inter Hall Administration (IHA) announced an almost 300% fee hike, putting the education of students from the backward and marginalized communities at risk.

The JNU students union (JNUSU) came down heavily on the administration for not taking the say of the main stakeholders – the students. Massive protests broke out, with the students taking to the streets and raising slogans against the administration for ordering the fee hike and demanding that it be completely revoked.

The protest went on for weeks, but took a turn for the worst when on the day of convocation, thousands of students came out on the roads and were met with violence by the Delhi Police which baton-charged them and used water cannons to stop them. Students were brutally beaten up by the cops and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was brought in to disperse the protestors.

Because a public-funded university was being put on the path of privatisation, the students fought tooth and nail, injuries notwithstanding, to get the administration to revoke the fee hike. However, the treatment meted out to the students by the administration was utterly disappointing, with the Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, not even once making an effort to address the issues fof the students.

Seeing the intensity of the protest, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) intervened, but did not offer any solution to the students. The protest stretched through the month of December 2019 and the students decided to boycott their semester examinations which were to take place at the start of the New Year 2020.

The CAA-NRC protests

While the JNU was fighting its own fight for affordable education, protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) gripped the capital. Peacefully protesting students at the Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU) were brutally attacked by the Delhi Police and JNU came out in support of Jamia, calling for an overnight stir.

What happened on January 5, 2020 and what it was actually made out to be

After the JNU violence on January 5, Union Home Minister had in a speech asked Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi whom he was trying to save, referring to the students as members of the ‘tukde tukde’ gang that must be punished.

Coined by the right-wing and its affiliates after the JNU campus unrest in 2016 which saw the arrest of then JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar after he chanted for ‘azaadi’, the ‘tukde tukde’ gang is now referred to anyone the right-wingers feel is anti-India and out to divide the country.

The JNU students knew they couldn’t let down their guard or give up their fight in anyway because their fee hike was not yet recalled. In light of this, they had decided to boycott the semester examination registrations which were to be held starting January 1 and were to end on January 5.

On January 4, allegedly to break the strike and instill fear among the students, the security staff was roped in, reported the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM). Later in the day, allegedly some ABVP activists were caught on camera attacking the protesting students, including the women and pelted stones at them.

To protest against this violence, the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) had called for a meeting on campus on January 5, 2020. This was when a group of around 50 masked goons entered the campus and started targeting JNUSU official bearers and students. A few distress calls were made for help, but no student was allowed on campus post the incident. The Delhi Police, after written permission, got into the campus to take stock of the situation.

Many reports carried information that the Left had orchestrated the attack against the ABVP students who had gone for exam registrations on January 4 and that the security guards employed with ‘Cyclops’, the company that managed the security arrangements at JNU and the guards of which were conspicuously missing during the attack on January 5; were also beaten up.

However, evidence has come to light, clearly connecting the ABVP to the violence at JNU.

A WhatsApp group with the name ‘Unity against Left’ was formed. Newslaundry, got into the group and unraveled some truths that showed a clear conspiracy by the ABVP.


Also, in on it were the people of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).


Chats that clearly called for violence.


Newslaundry reported that 9 of the 18 admins of the WA group were from the ABVP. Manish Jangid, one of the admins and the ABVP secretary had apparently conveyed to the BJP, as Amit Malviya tweeted, that the left backed student unions were targeting members of the ABVP so that academic sessions could be disrupted.

The below is a list of the people who were group admins. They were identified using True Caller, their WA Display Pics and a Facebook profile search.

1. Venkat Choubey ABVP:  Joint Secretary Candidate Candidate JNUSU 2018-19

2. Velentina Bramha: ABVP Activisit from Delhi

3. Vijay Kumar: ABVP JNU Vibhag Sanyojak

4.  Devendr Kumar: ABVP Member

5. Sumanta Sahu: ABVP Joint Secretary Candidate JNUSU 2019

6. Manish Jangid: ABVP Presidential Candidate JNUSU 2019

7. Ambuj Mishra: ABVP Media and Social Media Convener

8. Yogendra Bharadwaj: ABVP  JNUSUJoint Secretary Candidate 2017-18

9. Anima Sonkar: ABVP Delhi Joint Secretary

Newslaundry did not find any incriminatory utterances, they did find some statements that pointed out to a crafting a plan. A conversation about the injury of Aishe Ghosh, could point out that the ABVP did not feel any regret for what had happened.

ocial media is flooded with screenshots of this group where people have made the following incendiary statements that point towards some sort of “planning”:

#1. “Nahi. VC ne entry mana kiya hai. Apna VC hai.” (No. VC has disallowed them [Delhi Police] from entering. VC is ours.)

#2. “Agar jana he to Sabarmati hostel jao.. waha sab karykarta jama hai.” (If you want to go, go to Sabarmati hostel… there all our karyakartas have gathered.)

#3. “आइशी का सर फटा है। अभी सीरियस है वो.. बचेगी नही शायद.” (Aishi has a serious head injury. She’s serious… might not survive.) 

To this one person responded with #4: “बढ़िया हुआ, अभी तो चुनचुन कद इन देश द्रोहियो को मारना है.” (Good, now we have to identify and kill all these traitors.)

The search done by Anand Mangale, formerly associated with Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), a firm started by Prashant Kishore show that though none of these statements make anyone guilty, they do make the members of ABVP strong suspects.

JNU has always been synonymous with courage. It has had student leaders bear the brunt of the state and the police, it has had student leaders being detained and it has had students and teachers being beaten up and become victims of state-sponsored terror time and again.

Because JNU has a strong voice, whether in Kanhaiya Kumar or Aishe Ghosh, repeated efforts have made to quell it. JNU has always stood for the ones who never got a say. In this fight against the fee hike, it was wanting that the poor and the marginalized not be left out of the fold of a good education that they deserved.

No student of JNU has ever feared being political, but the University’s sincere efforts to save the system and its students from the hands of a few rich and privileged have been diverted by a rigid ruling government that has time and again looked to quash it by terming it ‘anti-national’ or ‘urban naxals’ or members of the ‘tukde tukde’ gang.

JNU has always fought against oppression and for the rights of others. The unveiling of the truth behind the attack and the horror unleashed on students and teachers, followed by an outpouring of solidarity from the nation, just go to show that JNU has and will always stand for causes that matter and will never lose courage in the face of difficulty.


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