Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant General Anil Baijal have reacted to the brutal attack of students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) by masked men on Sunday evening. Accounts from students tweeting from on campus and those speaking to media persons on the ground state that the violence broke out when over 50 masked men entered the campus wielding lathis. The attack reportedly began around 6.30 pm when stones were thrown at a peace march of students and teachers. Many masked, including outsiders, reportedly entered the campus and attacked students and teachers in their hostels, injuring many and vandalising the premises. The students under attack have alleged that the masked people were from the ABVP outfit and outsiders.
Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal tweeted, ‚ÄúI am so shocked to know abt the violence at JNU. Students attacked brutally. Police shud immediately stop violence and restore peace. How will the country progress if our students will not be safe inside univ campus?‚ÄĚ
He added: ‚ÄúSpoke to Hon‚Äôble LG and urged him to direct police to restore order. He has assured that he is closely monitoring the situation and taking all necessary steps.‚ÄĚ
Lieutenant General Anil Baijal tweeted that he has directed the Delhi police to take all steps to main law and order. He wrote: ‚ÄúThe violence in JNU against students and teachers is highly condemnable. Directed @DelhiPolice to take all possible steps in coordination with JNU Administration to maintain law and order & take action against the perpetrators of violence. The situation is being closely monitored.‚ÄĚ
Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi also reacted to the attack. ‚ÄúThe brutal attack on JNU students & teachers by masked thugs, that has left many seriously injured, is shocking. The fascists in control of our nation, are afraid of the voices of our brave students. Today‚Äôs violence in JNU is a reflection of that fear,‚ÄĚ he tweeted with pictures of the injured students.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who went to see the injured students at AIIMS tweeted later: "Wounded students at AIIMS trauma centre told me that goons entered the campus and attacked them with sticks and other weapons. Many had broken limbs and injuries on their heads. One student said the police kicked him several times on his head." She added: "There is something deeply sickening about a government that allows and encourages such violence to be inflicted on their own children."
National president of the political outfit Swaraj India and former member of AAP Yogendra Yadav too took to Twitter to condemn the attack before he too has been manhandled on reaching in front of the JNU by ABVP members. He had tweeted a video of the JNUSU president who was attacked and wrote. ‚ÄúJNUSU President Aishi Ghosh right now. Brutally beaten up and profusely bleeding from the head. When will this stop? #SOSJNU #shame.‚ÄĚ
DMK chief MK Stalin tweeted, "Shocked to see visuals of masked miscreants attacking JNU students inside the campus. DMK condemns rising incidents of violence against students within universities in the aftermath of #CAA2019 All those who are responsible for these incidents must brought to book immediately."
DMK leader and MP Kanimozhi wrote, "Very disturbing news of students and staff being attacked by masked goons at JNU is coming in. I strongly condemn this and strict action must be taken against the perpetrators."
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also came out lashing out at the Delhi Police for not coming to the help of students. "What we are seeing on Live TV is shocking and horrifying. Masked men enter JNU hostels and attack students. What is the Police doing? Where is the Police Commissioner? It is an act of impunity and can only happen with the support of the government. This is beyond belief," he wrote on Twitter.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote the attack is a shame on our democracy. She tweeted: "We strongly condemn brutality unleashed agst students/teachers in JNU. No words enough to describe such heinous acts. A shame on our democracy. Trinamool delegation led by Dinesh Trivedi (SajdaAhmed, ManasBhunia, VivekGupta) headed to DEL to show solidarity with #ShaheenBagh #JNU (sic)."
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said it is a barbaric attack. "I condemn the violence on JNU students by @ABVPVoice. It is a barbaric act in the temple of learning. This act of violence reflects the mindset of ABVP & its parent organisation. Yatha raja tatha praja."
Congress MP Karti P Chidambaram reacted to the incident saying, "The Brown Shirts are let loose. The Nazi goons are on the prowl. Fascism is in full swing."
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the reports coming from JNU point to collusion between administration, goons of ABVP to inflict violence on students, teachers; it is a planned attack by those in power."
In solidarity with the brave students of JNU‚ÄĒ Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) January 5, 2020
This cruel attack is meant to ‚Äėpunish‚Äô JNU students because they dared to stand up
It‚Äôs so bad that even Union Ministers are tweeting helplessly. Modi Sarkar must answer why cops are siding with goons https://t.co/H0kRQyy6a8
Student activist Umar Khalid wrote that the JNU community knew very well who the masked attackers are. He tweeted: "Even teachers aren't spared in the masked mob attack in JNU. The JNU community knows very well who these masked people are: ABVP goons working at the behest of the JNU admin and govt to break the student movement against fee hike. #JNU #SOSJNU"
Meanwhile, JNU alumnus and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was the first to react from the Union government. He tweeted: "Have seen pictures of what is happening in #JNU. Condemn the violence unequivocally. This is completely against the tradition and culture of the university."
After him, JNU alumna and Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted, "Horrifying images from JNU ‚ÄĒ the place I know & remember was one for fierce debates & opinions but never violence. I unequivocally condemn the events of today. This govt, regardless of what has been said the past few weeks, wants universities to be safe spaces for all students."
Jignesh Mevani, Gujarat MLA, reacted: "What is the difference between Amit Shah i.e, General Dyer and the mob? General Dyer himself is a goon."