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JNU violence: Delhi HC notice to Apple, WhatsApp, Google on teachers’ plea to preserve proof

The plea said the attacks were ‘premeditated’ and ‘coordinated’, planning for which had been done on various WhatsApp groups.

SNS | New Delhi |

Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to Apple, WhatsApp and Google on a petition of three JNU professors seeking to preserve CCTV footage, conversations and other evidence related to January 5 violence at the university campus.

Appearing for the Delhi Police, lawyer Rahul Mehra, told the court that they have already sought CCTV footage of January 5 violence but no response was received from the University.

The police further said they wrote to WhatsApp seeking details of two groups and are waiting for a response.

The plea has been filed by Ameet Parameswaran, professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Atul Sood, professor at Centre for Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, and Shukla Vinayak Sawant, a Professor at School of Arts and Aesthetics. All of them were injured in the violence, according to a report in Hindustan Times.

The plea said the attacks were “premeditated” and “coordinated”, planning for which had been done on various WhatsApp groups.

Highly disturbing videos and screenshots emerged across media and social media, in particular on WhatsApp, the petition further stated.

“It is submitted that several persons appear to have used the WhatsApp platform to create different WhatsApp groups with the purpose of inciting hate and violence against the teachers, staff, and students of JNU…,” the petition read, adding the relevant data shared on WhatsApp will act as important evidence.

Delhi Police’s Special Investigating Team (SIT) on Saturday had claimed to have identified 37 of the 60 individuals of a WhatsApp group called ‘Unity Against Left’, which is believed to be linked to the mob attack on JNU students and teachers on January 5.

According to the police, the group was created against the Left parties on January 5, the day when violence broke out in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) premises as several masked individuals, both male and female, thrashed students, including girls, and teachers inside the campus with wooden and metal rods, injuring at least 34 people.

According to a report in NDTV, Around 10 of those identified are believed to outsiders, i.e, they are not students of the university.

On Friday, DCP (crime) Joy Tirkey had disclosed nine names in connection with the January violence and released their photographs.

The Police said they had identified JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh as one among the nine suspects.

Identifying the suspects, the Delhi Police alleged that JNU student leader Aishe Ghosh led the mob that attacked the Periyar hostel on Sunday evening.

The police also spoke about a second attack on January 5 by a “muffled” group carrying sticks and batons, who targetted rooms in Sabarmati Hostel where the students and JNU Teacher’s Association were holding a meeting.

However, they stated that the suspects are yet to be identified while adding that identification of the suspects was done on the basis of pictures and videos that went viral as CCTV footage could not be retained.