NEW DELHI: One police control room vehicle, a quick reaction team of only 10 private security personnel and a lone guard for each hostel was all that there was when a 100-strong mob attacked the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, brutally beating students, teachers and destroying property on Sunday, before police reinforcements brought the situation under control.

The development was shared by the managing director, Colonel (retired) KPS Rana of the Cyclops security and allied services, the private agency which is responsible for the security of the JNU. Speaking to ET, he said that additional security guards numbering upto 30 have been deployed at the JNU campus following Sunday’s incident that left over 30 people injured. These guards are in addition to the 93, including 12 women personnel and the remaining ex-servicemen, that are already deployed at the university’s key locations.

Rana explained that there are certain roles of the security guards deployed at JNU. These include maintaining a record of untoward incidents, preventing the entry of unauthorised persons, ensuring the car parking and government property are secure and preventing someone from breaking the rules. He added that the 93 security guards were thinly deployed within the about 1,000 acre big campus of JNU, such as only one person being on watch per hostel. “But when the mob came on Sunday, it was not humanly possible to safeguard everyone,” he said.

Rana said that thereafter the security agency’s quick reaction team (QRT) was activated and it picked up guards from different locations before heading to the main sites that were targeted by the mob. He pointed out that as the guards are deployed at locations that are far away from each other, it took time to reach the places where the mob was present. He also said that the security had also informed the police about the incident. “But they sent only one PCR vehicle and before police numbers came, a lot of damage had been done,” he said.

The QRT of 10 guards had reached the sites, but four of them, including a woman, were injured when they tried stopping the violence. “We put in the best efforts we could. Later, a larger police force came and the security guards guided them to the locations that were targeted and the situation was controlled,” he said.

The administration was also informed about the incident and the steps that were taken to control it. The security agency has submitted a report to the administration. “The strength of the guards has been increased by 30. There are already 93 guards deployed at the campus,” Rana said, adding that the police is also currently deployed at the campus.

On allegations of inaction of the guards on quelling the violence, Rana said, “That is incorrect. We have guards injured. What can one guard do when there is a large mob. The security guards cannot touch anybody and get involved in a fight. Riot control doesn’t fall under the purview of the guards.”

“Also, guards who are at entry and exit points cannot leave their locations to control a situation,” he said, adding that guards had to be picked up from elsewhere. He also said that there was unauthorised access was not given to outsiders who were part of the mob by the guards where they were deployed. He added that the police investigation will reveal the identity of these outsiders. However, the JNU students and faculty members have claimed that neither the guards nor the police acted to save them from the beatings they suffered.

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