Bollywood actors Swara Bhasker, Shabana Azmi, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub and Taapsee Pannu, and filmmakers Aparna Sen and Hansal Mehta on Sunday condemned the violence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and urged Delhi Police to intervene.
Violence broke out at JNU on Sunday night after masked men armed with sticks attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in police.
At least 18 people were injured and admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). JNU students’ union president Aishe Ghosh suffered a head injury.
The Left-controlled JNUSU and the RSS-affiliated ABVP blamed each other for the violence that continued for nearly two hours. Several disturbing videos that show masked people carrying sticks and bats have gone viral on social media.
Swara, whose mother Ira Bhaskar is a professor at the JNU, took to Twitter to appeal to the people on social media to reach the campus “to pressure the government and Delhi Police” to control the violence.
“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,” the actor captioned the video, adding that she was concerned about her parents’ safety who live at the campus.
Commenting on Swara’s video, Azmi said she was shocked by the violence and called for immediate action against the perpetrators.
“Is this really happening ? Im not in India and it all seems like a nightmare. 20 Students Admitted To AIIMS As Violence Breaks Out In JNU. Students and Teachers beaten. Reprehensible, Appalling Condemnable. Immediate action must be taken against the perpetrators,” she tweeted.
Aparna alleged that the JNU students were being beaten up by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) “goons”.
“How much longer are you going to look the other way? Or r u spineless? Yes I AM a liberal! Yes, I AM secular! And proud to be so if THIS is the alternative. Shame! Shame on ABVP & the police who are aiding & abetting them!” she tweeted.
Taapsee said it was saddening to see an educational institution “getting scarred forever”.
She shared a video allegedly showing the situation on campus.
“Such is the condition inside what we consider to be a place where our future is shaped. It’s getting scarred for ever. Irreversible damage. What kind of shaping up is happening here, it’s there for us to see…” Taapsee tweeted.
Zeeshan asked people to reach the JNU in large numbers.
“By closing the doors and roads they have given free hand to their goons. Tell your friends and relatives, tell everyone and gather there together,” the actor said in a tweet.
“Friends in Okhla and Jamia go to Shaheen Bagh. This #JNUAttack has been done to divert attention and they’ll surely attack Shaheen Bagh at night,” he tweeted.
Zeeshan further called for peace amid violence and urged people to exercise patience and take care of their friends.
Director Anurag Kashyap retweeted several purported videos of violence and vandalism from the JNU.
Mehta asked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to intervene.
“Dear @ArvindKejriwal. Can you do something to stop the violence in JNU?” the filmmaker tweeted.
Writer Kanika Dhillon too asked Kejriwal to step in.
“Sir!!! Pls atleast reach there!!!! Ur presence will help!!!!” she said.
“Masaan” fame director Neeraj Ghaywan asked the police to help the students.
“Extremely distressing video from JNU. @DelhiPolice, these are students, the future of our nation, like your own. Help them please!” Ghaywan wrote.
Filmmaker Vinod Kapri also shared an alleged video from JNU campus.
“This is a horrifying video. At least 30-40 masked goons are vandalising JNU hostel. Delhi Police is nowhere to be seen. This has full political support. TV news channels have shut their eyes,” Kapri tweeted.
Filmmaker-composer Vishal Bhardwaj also condemned the violence. “It’s shameful and enraging to see what’s happening in #JNUViolence,” he said.
Director Bejoy Nambiar questioned the silence of many in the film fraternity.
“All you silent friends of mine watch this !!! Watch this & then come and talk to me about how concerned you are about the damage to public’ property. How is THIS OK ? How can we watch students & teachers being brutally attacked like this and stay quiet ?” he asked.
“#SOSJNU @DelhiPolice this is NOT OK. JNUSU president has been brutally beaten up. She is severely wounded. Media Please het there @ndtv @BBCIndia #JNU,” tweeted director Onir.
Actor Richa Chadha said: “A few months ago JNU gave the world a Nobel laureate. Now JNU teachers and students are being beaten up for protesting a fee hike. World watches.”
“Frightening visuals from #JNU. Praying that the #Delhipolice intervene swiftly and protect the students. Stay safe students. What a scary world we live in,” wrote actor Siddharth on the microblogging site.
Director Anubhav Sinha tweeted: “Either this Government is not capable of maintaining law and order or they are complicit…”
Writer Gaurav Solanki called the attack on the varsity “an act of terror by terrorists”.
Director Anurag Basu said: “We can’t remain mute spectators anymore! #SOSJNU”.
Actor Renuka Shahane wrote on the microblogging site: “Complete lawlessness! How could masked goons enter JNU & terrorize students and teachers? What is @DelhiPolice doing?… Unbelievable!! Scary!! Shameful.