NEW DELHI: JNU professor Ashwini Mahapatra, who was purportedly seen scuffling inside the campus in a video clip, claimed that he was at the spot to help students enter a building that was blocked by protesters.
Mahapatra is associated with JNUTF, the group of teachers that is ideologically against the JNUTA.
On Saturday, minor scuffles broke out outside the School of International Studies (SIS).
Mahapatra, the SIS dean, said that about 9 a.m., he received alerts that some students were being prevented from entering the reading room. “That’s when I went there. After the reading room was opened, there were those who wanted to sign documents after completing online registration.
I wanted to enter the building, but a few students didn’t let me in. They pushed me. Blaming me for inciting someone...no grounds for that,” he said at a press briefing.
Mahapatra stressed that Sunday’s violence was not normal for JNU. “This kind of overt violence has never been reported at JNU. I studied here. I have been teaching here for decades...you can raise slogans. Those supporting Afzal Guru, Naxalites used to come and deliver lectures. That is normal but this kind of overt violence had never taken place.”
Professor Anshu Joshi asserted the protests should be peaceful. “There is a need for normalcy to return...Those who want registration or wish to study should not be stopped. Don’t go by ideologies. In the Sunday’s violence, it was very clear that there were two groups — one that wanted to sit for exams and the other that didn’t want to study.” she told the media.
‘Cops have got vital clues on attackers’
Police have got vital clues about the identities of masked men who attacked JNU students, government sources said. “A lot of positive efforts are on for identification of the masked persons. The vital clues are crucial in cracking the case,” a source said.