JNU violence: Police identify masked woman in armed group
JNU students and teachers have been alleging that the masked woman was from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The SIT officials refused to comment on the accused woman’s political affiliation.Updated: Jan 13, 2020 11:14 IST
The Delhi Police on Sunday identified a woman, who was seen with two masked men involved in January 5 violence on JNU campus, as a student of a Delhi University college.
Officials of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), who are probing three cases of violence and vandalism on campus between January 3 and 5, said they will serve a notice to the student Monday, asking her to join the probe and identify the two masked men, seen with her.
“She is a student of Daulat Ram college. Once she joins probe, we will question her about her role in the violence,” said deputy commissioner of police Joy Tirkey, who is heading the SIT.
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JNU students and teachers have been alleging that the masked woman was from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The SIT officials refused to comment on the accused woman’s political affiliation.
“We have already confirmed having a volunteer of the same name as that of the woman shown in the videos of violence and identified by many on the social media. Since Delhi Police have not contacted us regarding the identification, we cannot say if she is the same person who is associated with us (ABVP). We have been cooperating with the police,” said Sidharth Yadav, ABVP’s Delhi secretary.
SIT officials said they have also identified another JNU student who was seen in a video, holding a stick and standing with Vikas Patel, who was among the nine identified on Friday by the police. While handing out images of the nine student, the police had used the wrong photo of Patel, but later shared the correct one. “He will soon be asked to appear before us,” said an SIT official.
At least 55 more people have been identified by the SIT after scanning the videos, images posted on the social media and recording the statement of nearly 40 eyewitnesses. Forty-six of those identified, include JNU students union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh, have already been served notice by the SIT to join the investigation, said police. Ghosh denied the allegations and said the Delhi police must produce evidence against her.
Apart from the nine students (Ghosh and 8 others who were identified later), the other 37 JNU student are those who were found to be the members of a WhatsApp group, “Unity against Left” that was created around 5.30pm on January 5 — almost an hour before the mob attack at JNU’s Sabarmati hostel. “There were 60 members in the group. We are identifying the other 23 members. Their residential addresses are being tracked,” he added.
Another SIT official said that two JNU students – Akshat Awasthi and Rohit – who are seen testifying to their involvement in January 5 violence in a sting operation done by India Today news channel did not turn up to the probe Sunday, despite agreeing for it over phone on Saturday.
“We tried contacting them but they have switched off their phones. We will serve them written notice Monday,” an officer said, adding that of the other six freshly identified suspects, two are associated with right-wing groups while other two are from the Left parties.
On Sunday, the SIT rejected claims by JNUSU that server at JNU administrative block was functioning till January 4, and an email was also sent to students from the group mailing communication and information services on January 5. “Forensic experts told us that it was badly damaged and no emails could have been sent,” Tirkey added.