Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker has been quite vocal in her criticism of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and has also participated in some of the protests against the same in Mumbai. Recently, Swara started an online petition asking for the Delhi High Court to take suo motu cognisance of the violence that happened in JNU in Delhi this month, and order a judicial probe.
On January 5, masked goons barged into the JNU campus and attacked students and teachers with lathis. JNU Students Union President Aishe Ghosh was also attacked with rods on her head, and sustained severe injuries. At least 30 others were injured in the violence.
At the time, Swara had posted an urgent appeal on social media, asking people to gather in large numbers outside the JNU main gate to pressure police into taking action against the masked assailants. She had mentioned in the video appeal that her parents also stayed on the JNU campus.
In her Change.org petition, which has already garnered over 79,000 signatures in just three days, Swara questions the lack of police action at the time of the violence.
The JNU alumnus said, “As the news spread, the first videos of the masked men and their bloodied victims inside hostels began appearing on social media. Many of us outside began calling police and journalists after we received non-stop calls and messages from students trapped inside. They were crying for help, begging us to call the police.”
“Where was the police? Eyewitnesses say 250 police personnel were standing outside the campus main gates for almost 3 hours, while the goons continued to cause havoc inside. Was the attacking mob being given a free hand? By whom?” she questioned.
Calling this situation a breakdown of law and order, Swara has appealed in her petition to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court to set up an independent judicial inquiry into the identity of the masked persons who attacked JNU and into the alleged complicity of the Delhi police.
“If those in uniform, whose duty is to protect us, standby and watch mutely, how are they any different from those who attack us and put our lives at risk,” Swara has said.
You can access the petition here.
So far, there have been 11 police complaints regarding the violence of January 5, and at least three FIRs. Two of these FIRs are against Aishe Ghosh and 19 others for allegedly attacking security guards and vandalising a server room in the university on the previous day. These FIRs were filed by the university administration.
According to latest reports, the Delhi police have “vital clues” about the identities of the masked persons who entered JNU campus. However, there have been no arrests yet.