- Delhi Police denied claims that they were slow to respond to situation
- Spokesperson said "scuffle" arose due to differences between students
- CCTV footage has been collected and Crime Branch will probe, he added
The Delhi Police today termed the attack on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus as a "scuffle" that arose due to differences between students over the online registration process, and denied claims that they were slow to respond to the situation.
In their first official statement on the shocking incident that occurred on Sunday evening, the Delhi Police claimed that violence had erupted at a spot far away from where their personnel were posted. "We are usually deployed in the administration block but the place where the scuffle broke out was a little farther. The JNU administration called us up around 7:45 pm, after which we brought the situation under control. The Crime Branch will investigate the matter, and CCTV footage has been collected," MS Randhawa, Public Relations Officer of the Delhi Police, told mediapersons.
At least 34 faculty members and students, including professor Sucharita Sen and Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh, were injured in a shocking attack by a gang of 70 of 100 masked assailants on the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on Sunday evening. The police have been accused of doing little other than blocking the institution gates at a time when the assailants were going from hostel to hostel, indiscriminately assaulting students and faculty members with iron rods and blunt weapons.
JNUSU leaders and opposition politicians allege that the culprits belong to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, an organisation linked to the ruling BJP.
In his address to the press, Mr Randhawa said that the volatile situation arose from differences between students over the ongoing online registration process in the university. "There were some issues between students, but JNU is a closed campus and only its security personnel can decide who should enter and who shouldn't," he said, adding that a fact-finding committee has been formed to identify the attackers.
Sources in the Delhi Police had earlier said that they have identified some of the culprits from emerging video clips and photographs of the incident. However, nobody had been arrested until reports last came in.
By "differences between students", the police officer was referring to tensions arising from the JNUSU's call to boycott the online registration process for the next semester over a decision by the university administration to hike hostel fees.