Members of the Jawaharlal Nehru University students' union and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad got into an argument inside the university campus on Sunday evening over the occupation of the students' union hall, leaving students from both sides injured.
According to police, cross-first information reports have been registered in the matter under Sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (punishment for wrongful restrain) of the Indian Penal Code.
No one has been detained or arrested in connection with the incident and a probe is underway, police said.
The JNU on Monday said the students' activity centre, over which the row erupted, is a common facility for all the students, while underlining that violence has no place in an academic institution and the administration condemns it.
In a statement, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) alleged that the ABVP unleashed a well thought-out, pre-planned, vociferous attack on the students of the university.
It shared videos that purportedly showed ABVP members hurling chairs on students.
The JNUSU office functions as the activity centre of the university. It is agreed upon by all organisations that JNUSU office-bearers shall have access to the room's key and upon prior intimation, the room could be booked by any section of the student community for any of their engagements, it said.
'This comes in light of continuous attempts of vandalisation of the union office by ABVP, three times in a row this year,' the JNUSU said.
The union office was booked on November 11 by the '100 flowers' group for an event on Sunday.
On the day of the event, the ABVP not only refused to vacate the union office but unabashedly resorted to intimidating tactics of utmost criminal negligence, the JNUSU alleged.
It said the ABVP members were asked to conduct their internal meeting in a first-floor room of the same building but they refused.
'Upon the call of the student union, students gathered en masse at Teflas to resist ABVP's lumpen tendencies and to reclaim our spaces,' the JNUSU said.
JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh was heckled as she tried to intervene while Vivek, a student from the School of International Studies (SIS), was 'violently attacked with iron rods and wooden chairs, while others also suffered blows and some were abused and manhandled by ABVP lumpens', the statement said.
'Additionally, many students suffered multiple injuries in the fight to put lumpen elements in the campus at bay. Women students were assaulted, harassed and abused, the derogatory and hate-filled statements passed with much impunity needs particular condemnation,' it added.
The JNUSU also took out a march against the incident later in the day.
The ABVP, on the other hand, claimed that the Left-affiliated student bodies assaulted students for holding a meeting at the student activities centre, also known as the 'Teflas'.
The right-wing outfit also took out a march in the campus against the incident.
'The JNUSU and the Left parties have brought out a decree that only the JNUSU president can give permissions for using the student activities centre. And to impose this, they resorted to collective violence on a peaceful gathering of ABVP activists at the Teflas,' the ABVP said in a statement.
Police said they acted as soon as they received information about slogans being raised.
"Police responded to the call swiftly. We did not find any quarrel taking place on the spot. On an inquiry, it was learnt that heated arguments took place between two groups of students," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Gaurav Sharma said.
In a statement, the JNU administration said a 'scuffle between two groups of students occurred at the Students Activity Centre in the campus. The students are aware that this venue in the JNU campus is a common activity or facility centre for all the students of the university without discrimination, and every student is entitled and free to use the place adhering to the rules of the university'.
The statement issued by the chief proctor of the university went on to state that violence and unruly behaviour have no place in an academic institution and the 'JNU administration would strongly disapprove of any kind of violence and disorderly conduct in the campus'.
'The students are advised to use the common facilities available for them in JNU with a sense of cordiality and responsibility, and in harmony with each other. Nobody should be allowed to disturb the peaceful existence and functioning of others,' it said.
The university administration urged the students not to go by any rumours that may affect the peaceful academic atmosphere in the campus.
A group of masked men armed with sticks and rods attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the JNU campus on January 5, 2020, prompting the university administration to call in the police.
The JNUSU president was among those injured in the violence.
At that time, the JNUSU and the ABVP had accused each other of being involved in the violent attack.