By Narendra Puppala
New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) Sunday marked exactly one week since violence broke out on JNU campus and triggered a multi-dimensional battle of thrones that shows no signs of abating in a hurry.
The opening salvo was fired on January 5, at around 6.30 p.m. by the pro-Left student groups who accused the ABVP of being behind a brutal assaults on students at Sabarmati hostel, by groups of masked, armed people on Sunday evening. With blood spurting from her wounded forehead, Aishe had alleged that some masked goons had intruded into campus and assaulted students with sticks, at Sabarmati hostel. She emerged as the face of JNU’s fight against violence.
The right-wing ABVP vehemently denied the accusations and counter-charged the leftist students with creating trouble on campus in the first place. ABVP’s JNU unit head Durgesh Kumar narrated their version of the truth. “At about 3 p.m., at least 300 masked pro-Left students had hurled stones at Periyar hostel and thrashed our activists.”
The situation further thickened when a section of JNU teachers voicing their support of the pro-Left narrative. On the other hand, the JNU authorities led by Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar Mamidala immediately issued a statement holding the agitating students responsible for the violence.
“The agitation was led by Leftist student bodies. The protesting students damaged the university communications servers to disrupt winter semester registrations. Their intent is clearly aimed at disrupting the functioning of the university. This is simply hooliganism and against the ethos of JNU,” he said.
With opposition parties rallying behind the left-students and the public perception seemingly behind them, the right wing students went on the defensive.
Over the next couple of days, the pressure began building up on the varsity authorities, as well as the police, who were accused of playing into the hands of the ruling BJP.
The next phase saw a hundred videos and photographs being presented as evidence of the other sides involvement in the violence.
On January 10, the narrative changed track with the police naming nine suspects, which included Aishe Ghosh too.
The constant twists and turns in the narrative at JNU following the violence on January 5, have only ended up confusing observers. Meanwhile both sides have upped the ante and organising outreach programs to strengthen their respective versions of the truth behind JNU’s campus violence.