Amid the brutal attack on the students and teachers on January 5 in JNU campus by a masked mob, a group of nine hostel mess staff stepped forward to shield at least 30 students from being attacked.
Around 34 students and teachers, including JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, were injured in the violent attack, with Sabarmati hostel witnessing the maximum vandalism.
According to Hindustan Times, one of the staff, Radhe Shyam, who has been working in hostel mess as a helper since 1985, said he saw a mob running towards the hostel on Sunday at around 6.30 pm.
“I was starting my scooter to go somewhere when I saw them. Their faces were covered and they were carrying lathis. I fell down with the scooter and injured my foot. However, I quickly got back up and rushed to the hostel building and asked students standing in the corridors to run towards the mess. Within minutes, the mob started breaking doors and windows. I heard screams all around,” he said.
“Those who were roaming in the corridors rushed to the mess. There were around 30 students. Some of them were from other hostels, who were visiting their friends. We first locked the entry and exits of the mess and then hid those students in a room, where we store our groceries,” he recalled the vicious attack.
The JNUSU also praised the bravery of the mess staff. “The mess staff of JNU’s Sabarmati Hostel who stood by the students to protect them when others would not. In the absence of the VC, the Warden and the security guards, they put their lives on the line to save the students. Huge respect for these heroes,” official Twitter handle of JNUSU tweeted on Wednesday.
The mess staff of JNU’s Sabarmati Hostel who stood by the students to protect them when others would not.
In the absence of the VC, the Warden and the security guards, they put their lives on the line to save the students.
Huge respect for these heroes.#RemoveJNUVC#FeesMustFall pic.twitter.com/X9ciR3u5Tf
— JNUSU (@JNUSUofficial) January 8, 2020
Monica Bishnoi, president of Sabarmati hostel, also acknowledged the courageous step by the mess staff, saying they could have run away saving themselves but they didn’t.
“They risked their lives just to save the students. They could have run away from another gate and saved themselves,” she said.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times)