6 JANUARY 2020 I Dr Baburam Bhattarai and his daughter, Manushi Yami Bhattarai, have thrown their weights behind Indian youths protesting against Sunday evening’s brazen attack on teaching faculty and students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
The former prime minister of Nepal and his daughter have a close bond with the JNU as both went for their higher education at the prestigious Delhi university – the father completing his PhD in Regional Development Planning in 1986 followed by his daughter who would attend the same university decades later.
— Baburam Bhattarai (@brb1954) January 6, 2020
Frenzied videos available online show students’ sheer panic and confusion after dozens of masked men entered the university hostel and began attacking the victims with stones, rods and hammers.
A number of students and teachers were injured in the mobstyle attack including Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) president Aishe Ghosh.
Dr Bhattarai immediately took to his Twitter handle to express his solidarity with the victims and protestors, “My heart-felt solidarity with my alma mater JNU! Please save this holy temple of learning!”
The distress video that the former Nepal PM initially retweeted was posted by Bollywood celebrity Swara Bhaskar. The actress is clearly distressed in the video, calling on Delhi residents to gather at the North Gate of the JNU in order to put pressure on the authorities and save lives. It is understood she posted the video as the attacking mob rampaged the premier university.
Some social media posts appeared to suggest that Delhi Police personnel were present at the North Gate of the JNU while the attack was still in progress but they did not enter the university and neither did they allow the bystanders to go in.
Urgent appeal!!!! To all Delhiites PLS gather in large numbers outside the Main Gate of JNU campus on Baba Gangnath Marg.. to pressure the govt. & #DelhiPolice to stop the rampage by alleged ABVP masked goons on JNU campus. PLS PLS share to everyone in Delhi!???? 9pm on 5th. Jan pic.twitter.com/IXgvvazoSn
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) January 5, 2020
Dr Bhattarai tweeted again Monday afternoon to let his fans know about the protest programme his daughter was organising in Kathmandu.
“Solidarity with JNU from the alumni and well wishers in Nepal!,” he wrote.
Sitaram Yechuri from Communist Party of India (Marxist) has severely condemmed the attack, “The attacks on JNU students and teachers is part of a larger conspiracy of an assault on reason by this BJP central government. All institutions of higher education are targeted. Accountability must be fixed for this assault on JNU and culprits punished.”