A Jawaharlal Nehru University student on Wednesday claimed that he escaped a masked mob that went on a rampage on the campus three days ago by "faking" that he belonged to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
Rajesh Kumar Arya, a student of School of International Studies, told this to a four-member fact-finding committee of the Congress, which was recording statements of those injured and eyewitnesses to the violence on Sunday.
Arya told the panel that a mob of around 20 men carrying sticks, iron rods and hammer stormed the Sabarmati hostel around 6.45 pm.
"My room is on the second floor of the hostel. When I looked down, I saw men moving from room to room, beating up students. Most of them had their faces covered," he recalled.
According to Arya, when the masked mob saw him, one of them pointed towards him and yelled: "Look, there are people above too".
The student switched off the lights of his room and bolted the door from inside.
Arya said the men banged on the door for sometime and broke the ventilator's glass. Scared, he "surrendered" before them.
"I folded my hands. They surrounded me and pushed me into a corner. Some of the men stood on my bed. They asked my name and enquired about my political affiliation," he told the panel.
"Some of them said 'lay him on the floor and beat him up'. I said folks, I am also from the ABVP," he said. "They asked me who all I knew in the organisation. I blurted out some names, but could not convince them."
"They then asked for proof. I showed them the book I was reading 'Hindu Nationalism: A Reader'," Arya claimed.
The men took the book, read the title and left, he added.
Asked about the fact-finding committee, Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said they had met the faculty members and students, adding that they would ask every side to talk to them.
"We don't want to give a pre-determined judgement because there are many versions," the All India Mahila Congress president added.