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ABVP members | JNU clash : Police book unknown ABVP members, varsity warns students against violence on campus

A day after JNU students clashed allegedly over the serving of non-vegetarian food in a varsity mess on Ram Navami, Delhi Police on Monday booked unknown ABVP members and the institute’s administration stepped in to curtail the tension by warning students against disrupting peace and harmony.

Two groups clashed at the Jawaharlal Nehru University‘s Kaveri Hostel on Sunday, with police saying six students were injured in the violence.

While security inside the campus is being taken care of by the university’s guards, Delhi Police has deployed its personnel outside.

Several purported videos of the violence surfaced on social media, with one of them showing a student, Akhtarista Ansari, bleeding from the head. Officials have not confirmed the authenticity of the videos.

RSS-affiliate Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Monday alleged that students from Left-backed outfits wanted to disrupt a Ram Navami puja, and are using diversionary tactics by raising the issue of serving of non-vegetarian food.

However, the Left-led JNU Students Union (JNUSU) has accused the ABVP of “orchestrating the incident and unleashing violence in the name of food”.

Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain termed the incident as “unfortunate” while CPI MP Binoy Viswam said that what has happened is an attempt to “sabotage” the unique character of the institute.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Manoj C said that police early Monday morning received a complaint against unknown ABVP members from a group of students who are part of the JNUSU, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) and the All India Students Association (AISA).

“Accordingly, we have registered an FIR under (Indian Penal Code) sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention),” he said.

Manoj said that further investigation is on to collect factual or scientific evidence, and identify the culprits.

Students belonging to the ABVP have also intimated that they will be giving a complaint, he said, adding that after receiving it, necessary and appropriate legal action will be taken.

The JNUSU on Sunday had alleged that ABVP members stopped the mess vendor from supplying chicken to the mess and attacked the vendor in the afternoon.

The ABVP, however, denied the charge and claimed that Leftists obstructed a puja organised at the hostel on Ram Navami. Both sides accused each other of pelting stones and injuring their members.

The JNU administration asked the varsity’s security to be more vigilant and reiterated to students its “zero-tolerance policy” towards violence on campus.

“Taking serious note of the incident, the vice chancellor, rector and other officials visited the hostel and met the students. The vice chancellor has conveyed that no violence will be tolerated on campus and appealed to students to maintain peace and harmony,” Registrar Ravikesh said in an appeal to students.

“JNU administration reiterates its resolve for zero-tolerance towards any form of violence on campus. The students are also warned to refrain from involving in such incidents which disturb the peace and harmony on campus. If anyone is found indulging in such acts, they will be liable for disciplinary action as per university rules,” he added.

The JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) has condemned the violence and in a statement on Sunday night said it will ascertain the full sequence of events and factual details, and report back to the campus community.

“JNUTA expresses its outrage at any effort to impose the food preferences of any group over others. The use of violence as a means of punishing difference has no place within a university community,” read the statement.

The safety of students and the staff who work for the university has to be fully ensured, it said.

“The JNU vice chancellor and her team, as well as the security forces, must personally intervene to end this violence immediately and to reaffirm the principles of pluralism and celebration of difference that this university stands for,” it said.

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