‘I mobilised ABVP activists for JNU attack’: Alleged ABVP member caught in India Today sting op says.

On India Today sting two alleged ABVP members confess how JNU violence was organisedAkshat Awasthi
news JNU Violence Friday, January 10, 2020 - 19:30

Shortly after the Delhi police named several members of Left student organisations for participating in the violence that was unleashed at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on January 5 afternoon, India Today sting operation has two JNU students allegedly associated with the ABVP confessing that they were part of the violence in the evening.

One of them – Akshat Awasthi – also takes credit for organising the mob that went on a rampage in the campus last Sunday. A third student who was part of the sting operation is part of AISA – a left-wing student group – and confesses to shutting down the JNU server as part of a protest.

Akshat Awasthi, a first-year student of BA French at JNU, was caught on a hidden camera confessing to leading the attack on Periyar hostel on the night of January 5. He also confessed to holding a rod in his hand, wearing a helmet, and ‘channelling the anger’ of ABVP members who, he said, went on a rampage on the JNU campus.

In the sting operation, Akshat is seen admitting that he organised the people who were part of the masked mob attack on many students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on January 5. Armed with rods, the mob attacked students and teachers. In a shocking revelation, Akshat says that he and his group were encouraged by the police officials to hit students.

“The Periyar hostel was attacked first. It (Sabarmati attack) was a reaction to their action. I then called the ABVP organisation secretary to mobilise men. The Left students had no idea that ABVP would retaliate,” Akshat says. When asked by the reporter where he got the stick he was carrying, Akshat says he got it from a flagpole near Periyar hostel.

“Left-wing students and teachers were holding a meeting at Sabarmati. When Sabarmati was attacked, they all ran away and took shelter inside. There's a street in front of Sabarmati. Vehicles and furniture were smashed there. All students and teachers standing there ran away when the attack happened. They had no idea that the ABVP would ever retaliate like this.”

"What did you have in your hand?" the India Today undercover reporter asked him. "It was a stick, sir. I pulled it out from a flag lying near the Periyar hostel,” he replies. In another chilling revelation, Akshat says with a flourish, “I saw a man with a flowing beard. He looked like a Kashmiri. I beat him up.”

The reporter asks Akshat Awasthi who switched off lights on the campus, to which he replies, “Admin... I think the police." He then says that this was done as the police or admin “did not want [anyone] to see that the mobilisation was happening.”

The reporter then asks, “So, the police helped you, the ABVP?” To this, Akshat replies, “Whose police is it, sir?”

Akshat also took credit for organising and channelling the mob. "I can tell you that I did the mobilisation. They do not have that much mind. You know you need to act like a superintendent or a commander. Why it's to be done and where exactly. I guided them about everything - where to hide, where to go. I told them to do everything systematically. I did not have any position or a tag. Still they listened to me carefully. I not only mobilised them but channelled their anger in the right direction,” he says.

The second person who was caught in the sting operation was Rohit Shah, allegedly a member of ABVP, and a student of BA French at JNU. He can be seen saying on camera that he was the one who gave his helmet to another attacker and is “proud” of what happened that night. “If it wasn't done the way it was, they would not have realised ABVP's strength,” he says.

The third person caught on camera is Geeta Kumari, an activist of All India Students Association. Geeta admits that she is seen in a video which shows protesting students sitting outside the server room of JNU. She says that the protesting Left groups damaged the server room as they were against the registration process. Left student unions and other students have been protesting against fee hikes in JNU and had blocked registration.

Reacting to the expose, ABVP stated, “Akshat Awasthi is neither an office bearer nor a karyakarta of ABVP.” Nidhi Tripathi, the National General Secretary of ABVP, said, “This is a smear campaign run by India Today to deviate everyone from the facts put forth by the Delhi police.”

#JNUTapes | India Today's undercover probe rips the masks
Watch LIVE with @rahulkanwal: https://t.co/4fqxBVUizL pic.twitter.com/D2V0zvTIFu

— India Today (@IndiaToday) January 10, 2020

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.