New Delhi: Delhi police have identified the masked woman seen in videos of the January 5 attack on JNU students and faculty members as Komal Sharma, a Delhi University student affiliated to the ABVP. This confirms the reports published by The Wire, and other media outlets, revealing the masked woman’s identity correctly.
According to the Indian Express, Delhi Police said Sharma is a student of Daulat Ram College and is a member of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Many students and faculty members who were attacked on January 5 alleged that the ‘masked goons’ were ABVP members.
In videos that went viral, Sharma is seen wearing a checked shirt, covering her face with a light blue scarf. She is carrying a stick and can be heard threatening students along with two other men – who are also masked and armed – inside the Sabarmati hostel, where many students were beaten up and rooms were vandalised.
The police have served a notice to Sharma and two others, Akshat Awasthi and Rohit Shah, under IPC Section 160, punishment for committing affray [an instance of group fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace]. Police claimed they are yet to be traced and that their phones have been switched off. Awasthi and Shah were caught in an India Today sting and admitted they were ABVP members and that they participated in the January 5 attack.
ABVP Delhi state secretary Sidharth Yadav, speaking to the Indian Express, acknowledged that Sharma is a member of the student body. “…we have been unable to reach out to her. The last information I received was that she is with her family. I have not been able to contact her to ask if she has received summons from police,” he said.
However, the student organisation claims that Rohit Shah is not affiliated to it. It had earlier denied that Awasthi was a member of the ABVP, but an investigation by Alt News proved otherwise.
SIT questions two more JNU students
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the Delhi Police questioned two more JNU students on Tuesday in connection with the attack. Additional PRO (Delhi Police) Anil Mittal said Sucheta Talukdar and Priya Ranjan were questioned for two hours each. According to the Indian Express, Talukdar is a JNUSU councillor from the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and Ranjan’s political affiliations are unclear.
Talukdar said that she gave a one-and-a-half page statement to the SIT. “During questioning, they asked me about the January 5 incident, where I was that day, details of students injured and if I could identify anyone else,” she said. Talukdar also said she was shown a photo, purportedly of her. She denied any involvement in the attack and said the photo was too blurred.
Ranjan, a BA third-year student from School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, told IE that he gave a one-page statement to the police about his whereabouts on January 5.