On the 10th of January 2020, India Today aired a “sting operation” that claimed to unmask the goons who indulged in rampant violence in the JNU campus on 5th January 2020. In the “sting operation”, that has now been discredited, India Today “unmasked” a supposed ABVP activist who admits on camera to vandalising the Sabarmati hostel on 5th. In the sting, Akshat Awasthi claims that he is an ABVP activist and it was him who called upon other ABVP activists to retaliate after the Left had indulged in violence in the Periyar hostel of JNU.
While Rahul Kanwal took to Twitter to try and prove that Akshat was indeed an ABVP activist, claims that fell flat after an OpIndia fact-check, Akshat Awasthi has retracted his statement.
As reported by Aaj Tak itself, Akshay Awasthi has now claimed that whatever statements he had made to the India Today reporter were false and he had said those things simply to display bravado.
Akshat Awasthi has now also said that he is in no way associated with ABVP, as he had claimed on the tapes aired by India Today and Aaj Tak. In fact, Awasthi has said that he is not even a member of ABVP.
India Today had aired the sting operation while touting it as the story of 2020 and patting itself on the back for “cracking the case of JNU violence” even before the police did.
The sting operation was aired just an hour after the Delhi police had held a press conference naming 9 suspects in the JNU violence case. In the 9 suspects named, 7 were from 4 Left organisations and 2 were said to be from ABVP.
The four Left organisations that were named by the Delhi police were SFI, AISA, AISF and DFI. Amongst the 9 accused, JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh was also named by Delhi police.
The police also said specific rooms in JNU’s Periyar hostel were targeted. Interestingly, most of the injured students of the Periyar hostel were from ABVP.
Three cases have been registered till now, and they are being investigated by the Delhi police. However, none of the nine accused has been detained. The Delhi police have now decided to issue a notice to all the accused.