- Hundreds of students across Mumbai held protests at the Gateway of India
- Students at the Aligarh Muslim University took out a candlelight march
- Several students and faculty members were assaulted in the mob attack
Hours after masked assailants went on the rampage at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on Sunday, thousands of students across the country rose in spontaneous protest against what they claimed was a brutal crackdown on dissenting voices.
Hundreds from educational institutions across Mumbai began gathering at the Gateway of India from Sunday midnight, raising slogans and demanding that the central government take stringent action against the assailants. Many of the slogans targeted the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the RSS-linked student union alleged to be behind the attack.
While students at the Aligarh Muslim University took out a candlelight march in solidarity with the students and faculty members of JNU, students in Hyderabad held an impromptu demonstration. Students of the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune and Jadavpur University in Kolkata also joined in late at night.
The Jamia Teachers Association (JTA) condemned the attack, accusing the administration of collaborating with the masked assailants to "terrorise" students and faculty members. "The JTA unequivocally condemns the violence unleashed on the students and teachers of JNU by armed goons. The violence that has gone on now for two days and continued unabated for several hours today is a brazen attempt by the administration to terrorise the students and teachers who have bravely put up an unwavering fight to defend the university. It is sad to know that JNU was sealed even as goons ransacked the campus with an intention to kill students and teachers," it said in a statement.
Students and faculty members of JNU allege that police personnel and private security guards on the campus remained "mute spectators" as the masked assailants unleashed terror on the campus. They have also been accused of letting the culprits slip past after wreaking havoc.
Meanwhile, hundreds gathered outside the police headquarters at Delhi's ITO junction to condemn "police inaction" against the masked assailants. "We came here immediately after hearing that there has been an attack on JNU. It is the government's responsibility to protest the citizens of this country, and that includes students. Can you imagine the trauma that the parents of these children must be going through," said one of the protesters.
Several students and faculty members were assaulted by the armed miscreants on Sunday evening, and three of them are reportedly in a critical condition. The masked assailants went from room to room of many hostels on the campus, brutally assaulting their occupants.
Among the 24 injured are five teachers and Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Aishe Ghosh.