"Urban Naxals Brought Bad Name To JNU," Says BJP-Linked Students' Group

BJP-linked students' body ABVP said "urban Naxals" have brought bad name to Jawaharlal Nehru University, and sought a fair probe into the mob attack.

JNU mob attack: Over 30 people were injured in the attack at Jawaharlal Nehru University

New Delhi:

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has rejected allegations of launching an attack on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus earlier this month, instead accusing Left-wing activists "who have brought a bad name to the institution" of orchestrating the violence.

"JNU should be known for its academic activities but it has instead become infamous for Naxal activities. Students like us have to suffer and bow our heads in shame because of such people," Nidhi Tripathi, the national general secretary of the BJP-linked student group, said in a press meet on Monday.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP rejected the university students union's claim that its activists were part of a mob that attacked students and faculty members on the evening of January 5, injuring over 30. It also claimed that WhatsApp chat messages and audio recordings linking one of its members to the incident were fabricated. 

"The chat and recordings do not belong to Komal Sharma. We want the police to investigate the false messages and take action against those who have been spreading them on social media," said ABVP Delhi state secretary Siddharth Yadav, claiming that screenshots of group chat rooms named "Unity Against Left" and "Friends Of RSS" were doctored.

"Even if you look at the name (of the WhatsApp group), you will know that it cannot belong to the ABVP," said Siddharth Yadav, asking the police to conduct a "live investigation" into the matter.

The ABVP has been on an overdrive to distance itself from the violence that erupted on the university campus that day, with some sympathisers like author Shefali Vaidya even inadvertently tweeting doctored images of injuries suffered by some such as JNU Students Union president Aishe Ghosh.

Delhi Police had named nine suspects, including Ms Ghosh, on Friday on the basis of social media posts and statements from hostel wardens, security guards and students. The JNU Students Union, however, term the police investigation as biased and claim that none of the cops or security guards on the campus intervened at the time of the attack. 

Nidhi Tripathi also cited previous incidents of violence to claim that "Urban Naxals" has become a force to reckon with on the JNU campus. "Today, JNU faces disgrace because of those who indulged in Naxalism on the campus. It faces disgrace because of those who shouted slogans in support of fragmenting the country at the Sabarmati dhaba on February 9, 2016. Students like us have to bow our heads in shame because of them," the ABVP leader said, adding that she is proud to be part of a group that's fighting for nationalist ideals on the university campus despite "getting threats even from teachers".

She, however, condemned calls for the "closure of JNU" in the days following the attack. "Those who make these demands don't know the spirit of the university," Nidhi Tripathi said.

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