Delhi Police questions two suspects in JNU violence case

Forensic experts try to retrieve data from server

Representative image | PTI Representative image | PTI

Two more suspects were questioned by Delhi Police's Crime Branch on Tuesday in connection with the January 5 violence on JNU campus while forensic experts spent the day trying to retrieve related data from the server, officials said. 

According to police, both Sucheta Talukdar and Priya Ranjan were questioned for two hours each in connection with the attack by a masked mob on January 5. 

The four persons who were injured in the attack were also examined.

"I gave a one-and-a-half page statement to the police. They asked me about the January 5 incident, where I was that day, details of students injured and whether I could identify anyone else. I was shown my photo (one that the police had released in the press conference last week)," Talukdar said.

Sources said she told police that the photo was too blurred.

Ranjan, a BA third-year student from School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, said "I gave a one-page statement to police about my whereabouts on that day."

Thirty-four people, including students and faculty, were injured on January 5 when the masked mob entered the campus and attacked them with rods and sledgehammers. 

The Forensic Science Laboratory team (cyber) which visited the campus to collect evidence spent the entire day in retrieving footage from the server, a police official said, adding the team will visit the varsity again on Wednesday. 

Deepa Verma, director of Forensic Science Laboratory, said, "The data is voluminous and the work is ongoing. After the data is submitted to the lab, it will be seen what has to be retrieved and what is already available."

Sanjeev Gupta, Assistant Director (Crime Scene Division), said the computer forensic and photo teams visited the JNU campus on Tuesday and the computer forensic team will also go again on Wednesday. 

The Delhi High Court has directed WhatsApp and Google to provide and preserve details of WhatsApp groups involved in the incident, a senior police official said. 

The official added that the three other students -- Akshat Awasthi, Rohit Shah and Komal Sharma -- were absconding. 

Awasthi and Shah, both first-year students of JNU, had featured in a sting operation conducted by a TV news channel.

The police had identified Sharma, a student of Daulat Ram College, as the masked woman who was purportedly seen in the videos of violence shared on social media wearing a check shirt, a light blue scarf and was carrying a stick.  

Her phone was switched off since Saturday night. When police had contacted Awasthi and Shah, they said they will join the probe but their phones were later switched off.

All the three have been sent notices to join the probe. 

Crime branch officers had on Monday questioned three students -- JNU Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh, Pankaj Mishra and Vasker Vijay Mech. 

Ghosh, Talukdar, Ranjan, Dolan Samanta, Mech, Chunchun Kumar (a JNU alumnus) and Pankaj Mishra have been named as suspects by police.