DMK leader and Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi visited Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Wednesday to express solidarity with the students who were brutally attacked by a masked mob in the capital on January 5. Kanimozhi met with JNU Students Union President Aishe Ghosh, who was hit on the head in the violence, and offered her support. The MP also visited the hostel area where the attack happened, and pointed out that students from minority backgrounds were targeted by the mob. The MP also backed actor Deepika Padukone, whose visit to JNU in solidarity with students has led to several people starting a campaign to boycott her upcoming film.
Speaking to TNM after her visit, she said that the attack was well-planned even as the Delhi police remained mute spectators.
“We've seen visuals of the attack, but to see it in person was really shocking – to see how they had targeted and vandalised rooms of students, and the kind of hatred they hold to do this. They had completely destroyed the room of a Kashmiri student. That is also where they threw a student from the balcony and broke the pots. Students were attacked just because people had Ambedkar and Periyar pictures on their doors. They knew who they were looking for,” she said.
The MP believes that the masked mob’s main intention was to spread fear. She says, “These were not students. They had brought in goons from outside to do it. It is shocking that the Vice Chancellor hasn't even reached out to the students. Practically everyone was hurt and they’ve hit them on the head or punched them in the eye. I met one student who nearly lost his eye, his vision is still not clear.”
Students who were injured in the attack have said that the mob were ABVP members. However, three days after the attack, no FIR has been registered against the attackers. But two FIRs have been filed on Aishe and other students.
Kanimozhi said, “The Delhi police were mute spectators. They come directly under the Home Minister, he has to explain.”
On Tuesday, Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone visited the University to express solidarity with the students following which a vitriolic campaign has ensued online.
Calling this an effort to silence dissent, Kanimozhi says, “This is what they’ve been doing to everybody. They begin a hate campaign, making sure that no other celebrity or person with power or influence will lend their voice to the protesters. This has always been their style. She was there just to show solidarity.”
When asked about right-wing calls to ignore the actor’s upcoming film, the MP said, “It’s okay. People like us will watch. I don't watch many Hindi films but people like us will watch this. If they're going to hate somebody, we'll love them, that's all.”