Left parties have demanded that the Vice-Chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University be sacked, pointing to his inability to control the hours-long rampage that left at least 40 students and teachers injured. The demand has been echoed by the JNU Students' Union, who said the Vice-Chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar, is a "cowardly person".
Despite the attack starting early in the evening, the Vice Chancellor, senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said, "Did not respond for hours, (which) makes him complicit in this attack".
"Rampage continued for hours before there was intervention. It came after the L-G (Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal) tweeted saying that he has directed the police to intervene and maintain law and order. It was after this that the V-C gave clearance to police," Mr Yechury told reporters today.
The Vice-Chancellor and the university administration should be sacked, he said, adding, "The President of India should sack the V-C and ensure that normalcy return".
Calling the attack pre-planned, Mr Yechury said it was "an assault on rationality and democracy".
The Left-backed students union has said yesterday's attack was the culmination of an ongoing resistance against the steep fee hike at the university. If implemented, it would practically bar students from economically deprived families to continue their studies.
The protest has been on for more than 70 days but matters came to a head as the registration process started on January 1, with clashes between the students affiliated to the Left groups, and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the students' group linked to the BJP.
In a statement yesterday, the JNU Students' Union said: "This Vice-Chancellor is a cowardly Vice-Chancellor who introduces illegal policies through the backdoor, runs away from the questions of students or teachers and then manufactures a situation to demonize JNU".
"For nearly seventy days now, the students of JNU have been fighting a courageous battle to save their university from the clutches of privatisation and greed. The VC is adamant that by sending a message that a fee hike has happened in JNU, he can prove that accessible education is not possible," it added.