Around 6 pm, a masked mob had entered hostels inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, armed with rods. Video footage shows students fleeing in panic from the masked attackers. Several injured students and professors were later taken to hospitals.
The students’ union blamed the violence on the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The ABVP accused Left groups – the Students Federation of India, the All India Students’ Association and the Democratic Students Federation – of creating the trouble.
However, these whatsapp messages suggest otherwise and trace back to ABVP.
At 7.03 pm on Sunday, a message was sent to a group discussion over the WhatsApp messaging service: “Saalo ko hostel mein ghush ke tode.” We entered their hostels and beat them up.
Another participant of the group responded: “Absolutely, it is time to settle things once and for all. If we don’t beat them up now, then when? The ‘komiyo’ [communists] have spread filth.”
The number associated with the message – “We entered their hostels and beat them up” – was traced to Saurabh Dubey over Truecaller. His Facebook profile shows he is an assistant professor at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Evening College of the University of Delhi. He manages a group called “JNUites for MODI”.
Political analyst Shivam Shankar said that the new numbers were added maliciously to frame Muslims and Left supporters as responsible for the violence. The right-wing activists then exited the groups en masse.
One of the numbers belonged to Anand Mangnale who had previously worked with the Congress party. In a clarification, he said he had “infiltrated” the right-wing WhatsApp groups to collect information.
The investigation of the messages was done by scroll.