Mumbai: On January 6, amid animated arguments on a primetime show of the English news channel Times Now, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP’s Delhi joint secretary Anima Sonkar admitted to her organisation’s role in the violence unleashed on the students and faculty members of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in Delhi on January 5.
Sonkar also admitted that messages were sent out on platforms like WhatsApp, asking people to enter JNU masked and armed . As anchor Padmaja Joshi continued to grill Sonkar, more concerning admissions followed.
Sonkar, during the debate admitted that two ABVP activists Vikas Patel and Puja Mondal were a part of the masked mob that had entered the JNU campus and attacked students and faculty members on January 5.
The mayhem, Sonkar claimed, was caused as part of “self defence” and that ABVP activists had been out on the road, armed, in order to protect themselves.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) January 6, 2020
Of the two names mentioned, Patel has been identified as an executive committee member of ABVP and former vice president of ABVP at JNU.
He was also one of the many persons who were a part of the ABVP WhatsApp group which allegedly had several activists from JNU and Delhi University visibly planning the attack on the “commies (communists)” on campus. In the attack that materialised, several students, including the JNU students’ union leader Aishe Ghosh, was severely injured.
Among those armed and masked men and women, a young woman, in her early 20s, wearing denim and a checked shirt is seen as part of a group of three in one of the videos that were taken of the attack.
The internet was prompt in identifying this woman as Komal Sharma, a student from Delhi University. A day after the incident, one of her seniors Anuja Thakur, put out a detailed Instagram post about her conversation with Sharma.
View this post on Instagram
Komal Sharma Student Activist from ABVP was my junior in college as well as in school. Last night I messaged her just to confirm the fact if she was there at JNU campus or not but I asked her indirectly starting from that ‘I saw you today at Munirka’ and ‘if she was wearing red white checkered shirt’ and her admission to all my questions (which were my urges to confirm her presence there at the campus) with the following audio in which she says ‘Didi, please kisiko matt batana’ is the legal evidence that she is the same person as in the pictures that were leaked yesterday confirming the fact that she was the girl with the iron stick in the “unidentified mobs”. I screen recorded her audio and chat as her Instagram account is no longer found. Share this as much as you can. #goonsofabvp @reallyswara @umar_khalid87 @youthkiawaaz @kanhaiyakumar @ravishndtv @peeinghuman @unbhakt @akashbanerjee.in @mallikadua
Thakur, in the messages, asks Sharma if she was the girl wearing a red and white checked shirt on the Munrika side of the campus. Sharma responds in affirmative. Soon after, Sharma sends a voice note requesting Thakur not to out her in public.
“Di, kissi ko batana mat. Because my photos are getting viral. Please batana mat kissi ko ki aapne mereko dekha tha. Thik hai. (‘Di, please don’t tell anyone. My photos are going viral. Please don’t tell anyone that you saw me there. Okay’),” the person who is allegedly Sharma is heard saying this in the voice note.
According to various witness accounts, over 100 armed men and a few women roamed through the JNU campus on January 5 and made a targeted attack on left-leaning students. The police, after facing severe flak for delayed action from across the country was forced to file an FIR. No arrests have been made so far.
Meanwhile, police have registered FIRs against Ghosh and 26 others for allegedly “vandalising” the server room of the university twice – on January 1 and 4 – and attacking security guards to disrupt registration of students for the winter semester as part of their agitation against the fee hike.