Agitation of JNU students for affordable quality education being fought against the Fee Hike entered a new phase today on January 5 when RSS student and youth activists mobilized from different parts of Delhi entered JNU and attacked students and teachers whomever they found. Since afternoon, these elements had started assembling armed with iron rods, sledgehammers and glass bottles. That this was an operation conducted by RSS, orchestrated by the Central Govt. which controls police in Delhi and conducted with the full involvement of the Administration is amply borne out by the fact of mobilization from outside JNU, police remaining a spectator while aiding them when required and local guards guarding the attackers with Vice-Chancellor justifying the attack painting it as a quarrel between sections of students. Street lights were switched off to prevent recording of this attack and identification of the attackers. This attacked marked a sinister design of the RSS to drown the struggle of students for affordable education in blood and tears. However, the valiant students faced this attack with courage of conviction and resolve for the struggle. Nearly 26 students reached hospital some of them sustaining serious injuries. Blood spattered on the foreheads and arms, soiled the clothes but not the spirit. Fascists overestimated their capacity to instill fear and underestimated students’ determination for their cause.
JNU students have been struggling against exorbitant and unilateral hike in hostel fees since October end of the last year. The JNU administration gave a call for fresh registration by students, mocking the ongoing struggle and enforcing the new fees. Not only did JNU students ensure that their SU give a call for boycott of this process, they went into determined action, with Phd students walking shoulder to shoulder, carrying out campus marches for past two nights calling on students to “boycott registration”. On the morning of 5th January 2020, security guards of JNU attacked students sitting on Dharna outside the Convention Centre, slapping and pushing students. The JNU Teachers Association called a meeting on 5th January 2020 afternoon within the campus. As the meeting proceeded, around 100 armed and masked persons holding iron rods entered the university gates from outside, walked in past the selfsame security guards, walked up to this meeting and physically attacked the students and teachers. They specifically targeted student leaders and activists. The armed goons then spread out towards the hostels, systematically entered them, beat up students, destroyed university property with abandon. Their entry was preceded by intense activity on internet by RSS-BJP leaders directing the movement of goon teams through different gates undeterred by security guards. Students held their ground and resisted this attack. Meanwhile, as students, lawyers, medical volunteers and activists rushed to JNU, the administration called in the police to seal the gates completely so that the campus was guarded for the goons. Students therein, within the campus, who had assembled in various hostels, took advantage of the darkness which was to be their foe, emerged in groups, managed to isolate the goons into one hostel, and started a meeting at Sabarmati Hostel T point by around 10.30 pm. They were helped by the knowledge that students from other universities and activists were gathering in ever increasing number from 9.30 pm onwards outside the JNU gate barricaded by the police for safety of the ABVP goons inside. Earlier, the street lights outside the JNU gate were obligingly switched off as RSS armed youth goons roughed up members of JNUTA who had called a press conference at 9 pm at the gate, snatched phones in the darkness and physically attacked gathering students. An ambulance with a team of young doctors from AIIMS was shattered by these RSS goons, while the doctors were pushed around. But by 10 pm the tide turned decisively as the number of students shaking the main JNU gate rose to over 1200 and rising, as their slogan penetrated to the students inside and whose songs rose up to greet those notes of solidarity. Meanwhile from 9 pm, the crowds of students and activists outside old Police HQ at ITO rose and rose in answer to a call by Jamia Coordination to gather and force police to open the JNU gates so the safety of students and teachers inside could be ensured. Simultaneously a call went out in democratic circles to rally to Shaheen Bagh to defend the 21 day old peaceful sit in by women and children against a widely spoken of RSS Delhi Police crackdown being planned while students were busy at JNU gates. But democratic students of Delhi, backed by their parents, activists, all fighting forces, succeeded in forcing the RSS-BJP Central Govt. to temporarily retreat. As the RSS-BJP-Delhi Police failed to cow down either students or JNU or protesters at Shaheen Bagh or the democratic outcry, at 11 pm the Home Minister signaled halt. He was forced to condemn the violence and call for enquiry by a Joint commissioner of police. The HMRD Secretary condemned the incident, as did the erstwhile one who had been transferred for giving the students a hearing. Around 11 pm, the street lights outside JNU gate came on as an initial concession to the huge fight back and then, seeing the ever increasing numbers shaking the gates they finally rolled open. The entire student force marched inside the campus. The JNU students held on into the wee hours, driving back with contempt, a ‘flag march’ by Delhi police which was actually to rescue any RSS goons holed up inside.
Meanwhile JNU SU President, a faculty member and two other students reached AIIMS trauma centre with heads lacerated by blows with iron rods. Around 23 others came in with injuries here and 3 others in Safdurjung hospital. In these are also 5 to 6 ABVP members who had taken part in the attack along with their goons from outside. Despite entering as injured, they moved around in the Emergency threatening faculty members bringing in injured students in their cars. A RSS gang hung around outside, doing the same work.
Student community and democratic public opinion erupted all over India against this fascist attack of RSS-BJP Govt. against the JNU students. Protests were held in different parts of the country even as the attack and fight back was going on inside JNU.
The JNU Admn. led by VC has covered up the beaten fascist attack by saying virtually that students who wanted to study had a clash with those who did not. ABVP went public with its attack on leftists and Naxalites, all of whom are apparently admitted into this university. What is good is that their facade of ‘supporting’ the anti fee hike movement is over.
That is the key issue here- this fee hike. This hike that will take higher educational opportunities even further out of grasp of common students and restrict it for well off. This hike that RSS-BJP Govt. is implementing to please its imperialist masters. This hike, which will be prescription for all universities and institutions of higher learning, and which students of JNU are beating back aided by tremendous solidarity from students and democratic forces in Delhi and throughout the country. RSS-BJP Delhi police combo goons have been pushed back. The JNU students struggle, has been defended and so have been other struggles against fascist attacks of RSS-BJP. Last night Delhi also defended its brave daughters, sisters and mothers at Shaheen Bagh from communal conspiracies of RSS.
Students all over India should rise to build a powerful movement against commercialization of education- fee hikes and the like to beat back this onslaught on the education system and take it away from the reach of students from poor and oppressed sections. JNU students have lighted this path and students all over India should carry this torch to light up the sky.
Little do these ruling fascists know the lessons of history- WHOSOEVER HAS OPPRESSED THE STUDENTS HAS COME TO GRIEF.
January 6, 2020