New Delhi: Shiv Prakash teaches Urdu in Jawaharlal Nehru University. He brought home Ghalib, a student of Persian, on Sunday evening when a masked mob was attacking students and professors on the campus and breaking public properties.
Prakash met Ghalib near his campus residence at the Transit House when the latter was trying to escape from the rampaging goons. While some scared students were running around with pepper sprays in their hands for self-defence, others sought refuge at faculty members’ homes.
The goons, most of whom had their faces covered were on a “hunting spree” inside the campus looking for "what, we don't know," said Sunita Devi, Prakash’s wife.
She said there was suddenly a lot of noise around 7:30pm on Sunday and it appeared to her that a riot might break anytime soon.
The mob banged on the door and broke their way in. Sunita was with her two children and husband in the room. “One of them said ‘Yeh toh professor hain, we won't do anything here.’ After that, they left.
“There was a mob in my house last night. My husband was in the bedroom. He brought Ghalib home and I had given shelter to another student whom I didn’t know. We hid him in the bathroom. I heard him say ‘salaam waleikum’ to his parents over the phone. He was feeling so unsafe on campus and his family members kept calling. I sent him inside after the door started banging.”
Prakash has been living in the campus since 2005 and for the past six years, he teaches at the university. But he said had never seen anything like this before.(Transit House in JNU where Shiv Prakash lives with his family)
"I slept at 6:30am and have not eaten anything since morning. I am so scared that now all I want to do is leave the campus. We are not safe here anymore," Devi said.
His neighbour, Shraboni Mondal, whose husband is a professor at the university, shared a similar harrowing experience. She didn’t open the door when the mob was at her doorstep. She asked them from her kitchen window, "Why are you here?"
They left soon after. "But how can a mob come at the doorstep and bang. I was very scared. I called in the police helpline number and complained. They heard me, but didn't show up. My husband has been here for the past 12 years, since his student days, but nothing like this has happened before."
Mondal is receiving frequent calls from worried family members, but she says she isn’t in a state of mind to talk. “I am in a shock… unable to process how this could happen in a space we call our campus," she said.