Dozens brutally attacked at Delhi university after opposing ‘anti-Muslim’ citizenship law

Around 200 masked men from a right-wing Hindu nationalist group stormed a university in Delhi tonight, attacking terrified students and their professors with wooden sticks and stones. The student body at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has vocally opposed a new ‘anti-Muslim’ citizenship law ever since it was introduced by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on December 11. The exact number of the injured is unknown but students said around 20 people were seriously injured and a further 50 nursing minor wounds. Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences said 15 students from JNU had been admitted with severe head injuries inflicted by the sticks and sharp weapons. Two students, including the President of the Student Union, are said to be in serious condition. Up to 800 students are said to remain within the university campus, either barricading themselves within their rooms or hiding out in the open in bushes and trees. The mob is believed to belong to a right-wing Hindu nationalist group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) which is affiliated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Police have been accused of not only turning a blind-eye by failing to stop the ABVP attackers but also beating students on campus themselves. “There is something deeply sickening about a government that allows and encourages such violence to be inflicted on their own children,” tweeted Priyanka Gandhi, the leader of the Congress opposition party. The JNU students were holding a peace march at 6pm when the mob entered their campus, according to those who escaped. Protests have erupted across India since the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act Credit: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters Allegedly, professors from the university and members of the student union attempted to remonstrate with the mob and appeal for calm but were badly beaten. The ABVP members then roamed around the JNU campus attacking students at will. “We are totally helpless and terrified,” one PhD student who had barricaded himself in his room in Sabarmati halls told the Telegraph. “A lot of female students were targeted and they have been beaten very badly,” said another in Jhelum halls. A second year student described the campus as ‘apocalyptic’ and said masked men had run around beating female students and throwing rocks at them. The ABVP is believed to be angry that JNU students had held protests to object to the Citizenship Amendment Act which will offer offer citizenship to followers of six religions – including Christians, Sikhs and Hindus – from neighbouring Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but not Muslims. A group of female students who managed to escape while the attack was underway said the mob remained at large and they feared further attacks would take place. Protests have erupted across India since the introduction of the legislation with activists arguing it is the latest in a string of actions taken by the Modi Government against Muslims. At least 26 people have died in nationwide demonstrations while thousands more have been detained.