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JNU violence: Police name masked woman in video, ABVP admits she is their member

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 15-01-2020

Delhi Police say they have identified the masked woman seen in videos of the January 5 violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University as Delhi University student Komal Sharma. A student of Daulat Ram College and a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Sharma allegedly is seen wearing a check shirt, a light blue scarf and carrying a stick in the video. She is also allegedly seen threatening students along with two other men inside Sabarmati hostel.

a person standing in front of a building © Provided by The Indian Express

According to police, they have served a notice to her and two others, Akshat Awasthi and Rohit Shah, under IPC Section 160. Police said all three are yet to be traced and their phones are switched off.

When contacted, ABVP Delhi state secretary Sidharth Yadav acknowledged that Sharma is an activist from the outfit: “Since the social media trolling against her began, 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.”

“More investigation needs to be done into the allegations; it needs to be done as soon as possible so that the blot against her name can be removed. If she has indeed done something, that can be addressed. In the meantime, ABVP as an organisation is itself investigating what happened on the 5th, and has found that many of our people were beaten in the university,” he added.

However, the student organisation continues to maintain that Shah is not affiliated to it. It had earlier said Awasthi is not a member of the ABVP either. Awasthi and Shah, first-year students of JNU, had featured in a sting operation by India Today.

Meanwhile, two more JNU students were questioned by the special investigation team (SIT) of the Delhi Police Crime Branch Tuesday in connection with violence. Experts of the FSL (cyber) team also managed to retrieve data from the server department.

Additional PRO (Delhi Police) Anil Mittal said the two students, Sucheta Talukdar and Priya Ranjan, were questioned for two hours each in connection with the attack on students and teachers by a masked mob. While Talukdar is a JNUSU councillor from the All India Students’ Association (AISA), Ranjan's political affiliations are unclear.

Also watch: ABVP releases video alleging Aishe Ghosh led a mob (Video by News18)

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“I 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. I was shown my photo (one police had released in the press conference last week),” said Talukdar.

Police said Talukdar denied her involvement and said the photo was too blurred. Ranjan, a BA third-year student from School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, said, “I gave a one-page statement to police about my whereabouts on that day.”

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