"Let Us Make New Beginning": JNU Vice Chancellor Amid Outrage Over Attack

The Vice Chancellor described JNU as an institution "known for debates and discussions"

JNU Vice Chancellor Jagadeesh Kumar spoke to reporters today

New Delhi:

The horrific mob attack on students and teachers of Delhi's JNU was "unfortunate and painful", Vice Chancellor Jagadeesh M Kumar said this afternoon, two days after a group of masked goons carrying iron rods and sledgehammers barged into the campus and went on an unchecked rampage that left 34 people injured. In his comments the Vice Chancellor described JNU as an institution "known for debates and discussions" and called on students and faculty members to "make a new beginning".

Mr Kumar has been heavily criticised for apparent inaction during Sunday's attack and his resignation has been demanded by sections of both students and faculty,

"Our heart goes out to all the injured students. The incident that took place on January 5 (Sunday) is very unfortunate. Our campus is known for debates and discussions to resolve to any issues. Violence is not a solution," the Vice Chancellor said today.

"We will find every opportunity to make sure that normalcy returns to the University.I urge all students to come back to the campus. Let us put the past behind and make a new beginning," he added.

Late Sunday evening between 70 and 100 masked individuals entered the JNU campus carrying weapons and large stones and ran riot for three hours that left several, including senior faculty members and Aishe Ghosh, the President of the students union injured.

Left-backed students groups and the ABVP, the BJP-linked student group, have accused each other of the attack that also resulted in destruction of private and university property.

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Sabarmati is one of the most prominent sites on the sprawling JNU campus

Referring to the attack the Vice Chancellor repeated claims made by the university in the aftermath of the attack - that students opposing winter semester registrations, who had also vandalised the computer server room, were involved in the violence.

"This (the violence) started when servers were made dysfunctional on Saturday. We have met student leaders several times... tried to explain the logic to them," Mr Kumar said.

The JNU administration has claimed the server room incident is related to the ongoing standoff between students and the university over a hike in hostel fees.

University officials had complained to Delhi Police that students, led by Ms Ghosh and her deputy Saket Moon broke into and vandalised the server room on Saturday and Friday.

The JNU Students' Union has denied any connection with the server room incident, accusing the university of using "masked" security guards to carry out the attack.

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JNU Students' Union President AIshe Ghosh spoke to NDTV

Delhi Police, who have been criticised for their conduct during the attack, filed two FIRs this morning - both against the injured Ms Ghosh and while the attack was being carried out.

Speaking to NDTV today Ms Ghosh said she was confident no further action would be taken, given the lack of evidence linking her to the attack on the server room.

The cops have filed one FIR relating to Sunday's attack - which clubs together multiple complaints - but have yet to make a single arrest.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at Mumbai's iconic Gateway of India on Sunday night in anger against the mob attack on JNU students. They camped out at the monument till this morning when they were forcibly moved by cops to another venue, following which the protest was called off.

Bollywood actors like Ranvir Shorey and Urvashi Rautela joined protests; mainstream stars stayed away.

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