New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed Delhi Police to summon all 91 members of the WhatsApp groups – ‘Friends of RSS’ and ‘Unity against Left’- and seize their mobile phones in connection to the violent mob attack inside Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on January 5. Also Read - Twitter Announces New Feature That Would Let Users Charge Followers, Netizens React
The Delhi HC has also asked the varsity to provide the Delhi Police with the CCTV footage sought for, as soon as possible, and directed WhatsApp and Google to preserve their data as per company policies. Also Read - WhatsApp's Fate Hangs in Balance as New Rules Require to Identify Originator of a Message | EXPLAINED
Earlier on Tuesday, the court had issued notices to WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, as well as Apple Inc, to preserve the data based on basic subscriber information incl the email ids, as per their policy during the hearing of three JNU professors seeking the same. Also Read - Information Technology Rules, 2021: Govt Announces Guidelines to Regulate Social Media, OTT Platforms | Key Points
The petition stated that the Sunday attacks on students and teachers of JNU were “premeditated” and “coordinated”, and the two WhatsApp groups were used to mobilise the protestors.
Last week, the police team investigating the incident had identified 37 members belonging to the WhatsApp group ‘Unity Against Left’. According to reports, the group had been created on January 5, when the rampage took place.
As a result, the blame was quickly shifted to ABVP, the student wing of BJP’s ideological group, the RSS. Several students even claimed that the masked goons who targetted students and faculty members belonged to ABVP.
Violence swept the JNU campus on January 5 after several masked miscreants thrashed students and teachers inside the campus with wooden and metal rods. More than 40 people including JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh were severely injured in the violence.