The Delhi High Court today asked Google and WhatsApp, a Facebook company, to preserve their data based on basic subscriber information including the email ids, as per their policy. The Delhi HC was hearing petition of 3 JNU professors seeking to preserve CCTV footage, WhatsApp conversations and and other evidence related to January 5 violence.
Delhi High Court also directs JNU to provide CCTV footage, sought by police, as soon as possible.
— ANI (@ANI) January 14, 2020
Delhi High Court has also asked Delhi Police to summon witnesses and seize mobile phones of those who were members of WhatsApp groups named ‘Friends of RSS’ and ‘Unity Against Left’. Delhi High Court has also asked JNU to provide CCTV footage sought by police as soon as possible.
Last week, Delhi Police had identified 37 members of the WhatsApp group ‘Unity Against Left’. According to the police, the group was created against the Left parties on January 5, the day when violence broke out in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) premises.
Soon after the violence broke out, screenshots of the WhatsApp group called ‘Unity Against Left’ purportedly used by the mobsters to coordinate the violence started making rounds on social media. Part of such conversation was shared by former NDTV anchor Barkha Dutt in a tweet late night on Sunday.
Later, several conspiracy theories began to float on social media, claiming that the Whatsapp group ‘Unity against Left’ was responsible for the violence inside the JNU campus on Sunday. As the name insinuated that it was against left-wing, the blame was quickly shifted on ABVP, implying that the sender of the message was ‘against Left’ and hence by default it was ABVP, the student wing of the RSS.
In fact, since the violence broke out in JNU, the usual suspects were busy propagating and making noise that it was the ‘ABVP goons’ who were on a rampage on campus despite the fact that they were masked. Later, several facts began to emerge which exposed a conspiracy against the ABVP members.
It was revealed that certain numbers in the Whatsapp group ‘Unity against Left’ belonged to people who were actively associated with the Congress party. Screenshots of WhatsApp conversations shared by former NDTV anchor Barkha Dutt had number linked to a person named Anand Mangnale.
Mangnale was involved in various crowdfunding events for the Congress party and had involved with Prashant Kishore, who had earlier worked as a strategist for ex-Congress President Rahul Gandhi in 2016 ahead of Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections.
After the initial Congress link emerged in the JNU violence, Congress quickly tried to dissociate itself from Anand and discarded his association, whatever he had, with the party.