The Delhi Police has informed the Home Ministry that initial investigation has revealed the claim by a fringe group's leader that owned responsibility for the vicious masked mob attack at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday night is incorrect, sources have said. Pinky Chaudhary of the Hindu Raksha Dal has taken "full responsibility" of the mob attack that left over 30 injured.
"JNU is a hotbed of anti-national activities. We can't tolerate this. We take full responsibility of the attack in JNU and would like to say that they were our workers," Mr Chaudhary told news agency ANI.
Critics say the fringe group may be working to deflect allegations against the BJP-linked students' group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
The Delhi Police are also using face-recognition software to identity the masked people who came armed with sticks and sharp weapons, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The police are scanning multiple video clips to unmask the attackers, who charged at students and professors after sundown on the campus.
A facial recognition system uses biometrics to map facial features from a photograph or video and compares the information with a database of known faces to find a match.
Several photos and videos of the mob attack at JNU show people wearing face mask standing in the corridors of the hostels, with sledgehammers in their hands.
The JNU Students' Union, whose leader Aishe Ghosh was seen with blood trickling down her face, has accused the ABVP of leading the night attack. The ABVP has denied the allegation, and pinned the attack on the Left.
In the flood of video and images emerging from Sunday night's mob attack, one visual trail appears to link the ABVP to the attack. In one image, a young man identified as Vikas Patel, a member of ABVP's JNU executive committee, is seen with a group of around a dozen young men armed with lathis.
A First Information Report (FIR) has been filed against the JNUSU leader Aishe Ghosh, who was injured in the attack, and 19 others for allegedly vandalising the university server room and attacking security guards on Saturday.
The FIR, filed at 8:43 pm on Sunday - around the time Ms Ghosh and other JNU students were being brutally attacked by the masked mob - claims she "indulged in physical violence", "pushed lady guards" and "threatened" guards. A second FIR - also about the server room incident - had been filed on Friday, but doesn't name Ms Ghosh.
On criticism over the police entering Jamia Millia Islamia University without permission, while going inside JNU with the administration's nod, sources in the government said there's a difference between the two incidents. "In Jamia, police were targeted and attacked. Students were throwing stones and other sharp objects on policemen. But in JNU, initially the tension was between two groups," a senior government official said.
The official said the police had reached JNU in afternoon after getting distress calls at the control room. "But JNU VC (vice chancellor) did not give permission to enter the campus, so senior officers came back. It's only when violence escalated the police requested the VC to allow them to enter the campus," the official said.