Former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) President Kanhaiya Kumar on Friday said that the police briefing on the violence at the premier university in Delhi last week was "worrying" and the cops were speaking like members of the BJP-linked student body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
"The whole left and right narrative in this is worrying. Any violence in the campus is wrong... the way the police officers were talking, it seemed like an ABVP press conference," Mr Kumar, a leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI), said.
"The way the police have been speaking, it seems very one-sided. Institutions have to act in an unbiased way," he said.
The Delhi Police on Friday named JNU student leader Aishe Ghosh among nine suspects for violence at the university last week and released their circled photographs to the media. Naming mostly members of the Left-controlled students' union, the police gave few details on the attack by a masked mob on students and teachers on Sunday evening.
Focusing on clashes that took place on the campus before Sunday over increased hostel fees, Delhi Police officials named Aishe Ghosh, Chunchun Kumar, Pankaj Mishra, Waskar Vijay, Sucheta Talukdar, Priya Ranjan, Dolan Sawant, Yogendra Bhardwaj and Vikas Patel. The last two, Yogendra Bhardwaj and Vikas Patel, are said to be members of the ABVP.
Addressing a press conference, senior police officer Joy Tirkey, who is probing the case, said a majority of the students wanted to register for the winter semester from January 1 to 5, but the left students' groups were not allowing them to do so. Members of Left groups attacked the server room at JNU to stop online registrations and enforce a strike over their protest against the increased fees, said the officer.
Hours after the attack, a large group of masked people armed with iron rods and sledge-hammers entered the campus and attacked students and teachers. Aishe Ghosh was among those who suffered a head wound, and was bleeding heavily when she was taken to hospital. None of the attackers were stopped or arrested, even though several policemen were on campus at the time.
Defending the student protests in JNU, Kanhaiya Kumar said, "Students have had to come to the streets. FTII, IIMC, MBBS... fees have been increased everywhere. The protest in JNU has been going on for 75 days. The JNU Vice Chancellor did not speak to any student, teacher. He even talked of conducting examinations on WhatsApp."