Cops To Question 9 Suspects In Server Room Violence Before JNU Attack

JNU Attack: Several other students - whose connection to the violence is as yet unclear - have also been identified and will be questioned this week, the cops have said

JNU: A mob of around 70 to 100 people attacked students and faculty last week

New Delhi:

Delhi Police has issued notices to nine students allegedly involved in clashes hours before the January 5 JNU attack on students and faculty. The suspects, who include injured student union leader Aishe Ghosh, had been named and identified on Friday on the basis of viral social media posts and statements from hostel wardens, security guards and students. They will be questioned starting Monday, with different time slots for each individual. The cops also said female suspects need not present themselves at the Crime Branch office but would be questioned by female officers at a time and place of their choosing.

Several other students - whose connection to the violence is as yet unclear - have also been identified and will be questioned this week, the cops added.

On Friday Delhi Police had released a series of photographs - some of which did not seem very clear - that they said identified suspects in clashes over the hostel fee hike that took place at the university's computer server room over January 4 and January 5.

This was hours before a masked mob of around 70 to 100 goons, carrying iron rods and sledgehammers, barged onto the JNU campus and went on an unchecked rampage that left 34 injured.

Naming mostly members of the Left-controlled students union, the cops also named Yogendra Bhardwaj and Vikas Patel; both are said to be members of the BJP-linked ABVP.

Left-backed student groups and the ABVP have accused each other of the violence.

Faced with the accusations Ms Ghosh delivered an emotional riposte later in the day, saying: "I was not the one in a mask... I am the one who was affected. I still have my blood-soaked clothes".

On Saturday police sources said they had identified 37 members of the 60-member group - called 'Unity against Left' - that was created hours before the mob attack. It is believed that members of the group, which included non-students, facilitated the entry of the weapon-wielding goons.

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The worst violence is believed to have erupted at Sabarmati hostel

The cops, who have come under fire for their conduct during the horrific attack - students of the prestigious university have alleged they "did nothing" to stop it - have yet to arrest anyone since violence broke out in the campus on January 5.

The police had previously said the lack of CCTV footage is a major hurdle in identifying suspects. On Saturday JNU Vice Chancellor Jagadeesh M Kumar, in his first meeting with students since the attack, said additional CCTV cameras would be installed near hostels.

The meeting did not include JNU Students Union members.

This morning Mr Kumar appeared to offer an olive branch to those alleged to have perpetrated violence, saying, "let us leave the past behind".

"Whatever has happened has happened. Let us leave the past behind. We are not trying to raise finger at anyone or blame anyone. What is important for us to is to make sure the university functions properly and we move forward," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The Vice Chancellor has been heavily criticised for apparent inaction during Sunday's attack and his resignation has been demanded by sections of both students and faculty.

With input from ANI