Home Politics Newslaundry website has busted the ABVP involvement in JNU Attack.

Newslaundry website has busted the ABVP involvement in JNU Attack.

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Last night country received bone-chilling footage from the JNU, where masked goons were beating the students with iron rods and blood were everywhere. After the incident both side ABVP and Left started verbal attack on each other, claiming another party is responsible for the attack, A very prestigious website newslaundry managed to get into the WhatsApp group of the alleged ABVP workers who planned this. Their investigation reveals.

We entered the group at 8.30 pm and watched the activity till 10 pm. This was also the point where we saw group admins starting to leave, one after the other.

At 10 pm, we took a chat export of the entire group and got to figuring out who the admins of the group were. We also found certain elements within the group who were trying to bond with ABVP members in the group, pretending to be on their side.

Based on the chat export, we found that a group called “Unity against Left” was created at 5.28 pm by a person named Yogendra Shaurya Bharadwaj. Yogendra is a student at JNU and was the ABVP Joint Secretary at JNU in 2017-18. It is important to note here that violence in JNU began at 6 pm.

Another curious thing. Notice the screenshot above of the “Friends of RSS” group.

Note the gentleman called Vikas Patel who is talking about the entry point for DU students. Scroll found that Vikas is an executive committee member of ABVP and former vice-president of ABVP at JNU.

Now, onto the group “Unity against Left”, which is the focus for this story.

Group admins

This group had a total of 14 admins. Out of these, we were able to identify 10 who are associated with the ABVP or have declared affinity to it.

The only activity we identified between 8.35 pm to 10 pm was by Onkar Shrivastava, Devendr Kumar, Anima Sonkar and Velentina Brahma before they all exited the group.

At 8.41 pm, Onkar asked the group: “Bhai iss group m bhi leftist aagye. Link kyu share kiya jara (Brother, there are leftists who have entered the group. Why is the link being shared)?” After that, he didn’t say anything till exiting the group at 9.51 pm.

Anima was active in the group from 8.54 pm, when she started removing people from the group. We found a total of 11 such instances before she exited the group at 9.07 pm.

Velentina also began removing people at the same time and we found 12 instances of her removing members. She exited the group at 8.57 pm. Before exiting the group, she changed the group settings to “Only admins can post” at about 8.55 pm.

Devendr tried to change the settings at 9.09 pm before he abandoned the group a minute later.

Yogendra Bharadwaj, Sumanta Sahu, Manish Jangid, Venkat Choubey, Ashish Gupta and Renu Sain were not active in the group in the timeframe we had access to it.

We were curious about two other admins, Renu Sain and Ashish Gupta, though. Our investigations found that Sain’s name was on the Adhoc Panel list at the Delhi University Department of Political Science in April, 2018 and Gupta’s name was in the Adhoc Panel list for 2017. The mobile numbers given in both the lists match with the ones that were used by them as admins of the “Unity against Left” group.

The story doesn’t end here. Strangely enough, while we were investigating the group admins, our reporter, who was at AIIMS at that time, sent us a list of the names of ABVP members admitted in the hospital, complaining of injuries. And two names caught our attention.

These two were also admins of the group “Unity against Left”.

We spoke to Dr Harjit Bhatti, former president of the Resident Doctors’ Association at AIIMS, who was an eye-witness to the events unfolding inside the emergency room of the Trauma Centre.

When asked about the injuries sustained by ABVP members, Bhatti said, “Some alleged ABVP fellows with superficial injuries also got themselves admitted into the emergency and were making the other patients and doctors uncomfortable.”

Bhatti also said that JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh had received deep wounds on the forehead. Her treatment was interrupted by goons, he said, who were staring at the patient and doctor while the treatment was taking place. It is unclear whether the “goons” were the same people mentioned in the list.

Spies and subterfuge

So, we could not find any specific incriminatory utterances being by the admins themselves, except for managing the group settings, removing members and wondering why so many “leftists” are joining the group using the invite link. Safe to say, we infiltrated the group when the proverbial raita had phailoed.

However, social media is flooded with screenshots of this group where people have made the following incendiary statements that point towards some sort of “planning”:

#1. “Nahi. VC ne entry mana kiya hai. Apna VC hai.” (No. VC has disallowed them [Delhi Police] from entering. VC is ours.)

#2. “Agar jana he to Sabarmati hostel jao.. waha sab karykarta jama hai.” (If you want to go, go to Sabarmati hostel… there all our karyakartas have gathered.)

#3. “आइशी का सर फटा है। अभी सीरियस है वो.. बचेगी नही शायद.” (Aishi has a serious head injury. She’s serious… might not survive.)

To this one person responded with #4: “बढ़िया हुआ, अभी तो चुन-चुन कद इन देश द्रोहियो को मारना है.” (Good, now we have to identify and kill all these traitors.)

This is where the second part of our investigation commenced. We found out who said these things — and why.

First up, statements #1. This was made by an individual called Anand Mangnale, who entered the group around 8:30 pm.

He made statement #1 at 8.41 pm, based on our timeframe data. Note that by this time violence in JNU had subsided. Based on Anand Mangnale’s Facebook profile, we found that he used to work with I-PAC, which is a political consultancy firm started by Prashant Kishore.

 

Group admin Velentina Bramha’s statement

When questioned about her name appearing as the group administrator in the WhatsApp group formed by Yogendra Bhardwaj, she said, “I didn’t know who added me to that group. I went to AIIMS Trauma Centre after the attack. When I realised that I have been made group admin, I tried removing everyone from the group and closed the group so that other ABVP guys don’t fall into the trap. While I was doing that, they removed me as group admin after which I left the group. I didn’t go further to check who made the group and who made me admin.”

Velentina was not removed as the admin from the group. But she did exit the group on her own.

Group admin Manish Jangid’s statement

Manish Jangid, another student and an ABVP leader, said, “I don’t know who made me the group admin, we haven’t formed any such group. I was not even aware about it yesterday as my phone broke during the attack on me. I was attacked in Periyar hostel and they also rammed into my room in Kaveri hostel. The people were from communist groups — some of them were students and some seemed to be from outside. They had their faces covered and were attacking students, I ran through the hostel to escape from the attack.”

Manish informed Newslaundry that he has sustained a fracture in his hand and has bruises on his neck.

Group admin Anima Sonkar’s statement

Anima Sonkar, a senior ABVP activist and one of the admins of the WhatsApp group, told Newslaundry, “The group was formed after the leftist student unions started doing violence in the university. They started the violence at Periyar hostel and were targeting ABVP activists. So, in order to mobilise the right-wing support, with the intention to safeguard students and activists of ABVP stuck at the wrong places.”

Anima said the group was formed by Yogendra and she was made an admin since she’s a “senior ABVP activist”. “The group was joined by many through the WhatsApp link, even from countries like Saudi Arabia and the United States. Many of us received threatening calls throughout the night and were asked why we are orchestrating riots. We also got threads like ‘you don’t know who you are messing with’.”

She added: “Unfortunately the group went into the wrong hands. People were changing the group names to ABVP-ISIS, RSS, etc and posting wrong stuff. Yogendra was the admin and he would have been held responsible later on, in case of an investigation, so he kind of left the group. All ABVP guys also left the group.”

Group admin Ashish Gupta’s statement

Newslaundry spoke to Ashish Gupta, who was also one of the administrators of the said group. He said, “I was added in the group erroneously. The moment I got to know, I left the group. I am doing a PHD in international studies and I am not part of any student union including ABVP or leftist groups.”

Group admin Shubham Potdar’s statement

Shubham Potdar, an ABVP activist who was made group admin, said, “I was on the train and was on my way back from my home in Purnia to Delhi. It didn’t come to my attention that I have been made a group admin. But when messages reached up to over 150, I checked the group and various people posting objectionable messages in it. I was asked to leave the group so I left it. I didn’t post anything in that group. On checking the group it came to my notice that I was added at 5.36 pm. I left the group at 9.28 pm.

We will update the story, as we get statements from other admins of this Whatsapp group.

Group admin Venkat Choubey’s statement

Venkat Choubey is ABVP vice-president of JNU unit. He told us: “I have no clue how I became an admin. I saw obscene messages by some people who were posting messages that they want to molest ABVP girls. Thousands of messages are coming on it. I left the group the moment I started seeing such messages.”

Conclusion

So, what can we say conclusively on the basis of this investigation?

  1. A WhatsApp group called “Unity Against Left” was created about half an hour before the violence in JNU ensued. This group was created by an ABVP member and most of its admins had some or the other links with ABVP.
  2. Based on the chat logs that Newslaundry could access, between 8.30 pm and 10 pm on January 5, there is no proof of planning violence on part of ABVP members. However, if the Delhi Police so wishes, this can be easily investigated.
  3. It would be incorrect to assume that the other people who joined the group, using the same public link we used, had anything to do with the planning of violence at JNU, which ended at 8 pm. Simply put, you can’t retrospectively plan for violence that happened at 6 pm, at 8 pm on the same day.
  4. Public sharing of these screenshots have led to harassment of the people involved because their numbers became public. Journalists should be careful when sharing Whatsapp screenshots in the public domain.

(With inputs from Ayan Sharma) Source

 

The above content and reaserch by Newsloundry clearly show that the ABVP  had the links with the attackers of the JNU.