Injuries as ABVP, Left members clash during late night meet on holding JNUSU poll

While the warring groups blamed the other side for the ruckus, there was no immediate reaction from the JNU administration.

The student groups clashed during the university general body meeting. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)The student groups clashed during the university general body meeting. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Press Trust of India | February 10, 2024 | 01:10 PM IST

NEW DELHI: A scuffle broke out late Friday night between RSS-affiliated ABVP and Left-backed groups at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus during a meeting on holding students' union polls, with both sides claiming some of their members were injured. While the warring groups blamed the other side for the ruckus, there was no immediate reaction from the JNU administration.

The student groups clashed during the University General Body Meeting (UGBM) at the Sabarmati Dhaba on the campus to elect members of the Election Commission for the 2024 JNUSU polls. Left-affiliated Democratic Students' Federation (DSF) alleged Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members obstructed the UGBM by encroaching upon the dias and heckling council members and speakers.

In videos shared by both the groups on social media, ABVP and JNU students' union members can be seen arguing, amid shouting and sloganeering as university security personnel try to control the situation. "In response to the JNU Administration's announcement of the start of the JNUSU elections for 2023-2024, the ABVP has teamed up with the administration to obstruct the UGBM called by the students and halt the democratic process initiated for the conduct of JNUSU election 2024," the DSF said in a statement.

The Students' Federation of India claimed that JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh was attacked by ABVP students and water was thrown at her during the ruckus. "Aishe Ghosh, president, JNUSU was heckled and shamelessly attacked by ABVP lumpens. They can be seen throwing water on a her.

Such disgraceful behaviour against a female student of JNU should not be tolerated at any cost," a statement said. Texts and calls to seek a response from Ghosh on the claim did not elicit a response. The right wing students group alleged ABVP-JNU secretary Vikas Patel was attacked by DSF activists. They said another student, Prashanto Bagchi, was thrashed during the ruckus to settle personal scores.

Also read JNUSU elections will be held 6-8 weeks after commencement of PhD admissions: JNU

An MA final year student, Prafulla, was attacked with a sharp weapon, the ABVP alleged. It also claimed a differently-abled student of BA Persian, Divyaprakash, was beaten by students from the left groups because of supporting ABVP.

Shifting the blame on the Left groups for the disruption, the ABVP said in a statement, "Today, the all-party organised a University General Body Meeting at Sabarmati ground at 9.30 pm. At first JNUSU had passed casteist slurs to the mic and sound workers as they did not want ABVP to participate in the UGBM. "The workers felt humiliated and backed off. However, ABVP activists talked to them and influenced them to not take away the mic and sound system. When the Left-led parties (AISA, SFI, DSF and many more) saw that the UGBM will take place anyhow, they tried to disturb the GBM. However, the ABVP failed all their tactics. At last, they started beating ABVP activists," it added.

The Delhi police said it is in touch with the JNU administration and is probing the matter, while adding that so far the police have only received a complaint from the ABVP.

According to a police official, a PCR call was received at the Vasant Kunj North Police Station at 12.30 am. A team of the police reached the university gate but did not enter the campus. "A PCR call was made by the security guards from the main gate at 12.30 am. A team went to the gate but did not enter. There was a scuffle in GBM. We are in contact with the JNU administration and examining the matter," the official told PTI.

"The ABVP has given a complaint. No complaints (have been received) from the JNUSU side as of now," he added. A large number of students had gathered at the Sabarmati Dhaba on the campus to cast their vote for electing members of the EC at the UGBM. Earlier in the day on Friday, the JNUSU had collected quorum (signatures from students which is 1/10th of the university's strength) to start the process of UGBM.

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