New Delhi, January 11: Nearly a week after violence erupted in the Jawaharlal Nehru University, a masked female arsonist spotted using a rod in the videos from the campus has been "identified" by a top media outlet. The woman, said to be Komal Sharma from Daulat Ram College of Delhi University, is a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) -- the students' wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Komal's identity was "exposed" on Saturday by newschannel India Today. In an investigative report, the channel found that she was the one spotted with a mask in the video emerging from Sabarmati hostel inside the JNU campus on January 5. Sting Operation Shows Students Claiming to be From ABVP Admitting to Role in Jan 5 Violence.
One of Komal's senior in Daulat Ram College shared audio recordings on Instagram of her conversation with Komal, in which the latter accepted that it was she who had featured in the video of violence emanating from the campus on Sunday. "Please do not tell anyone as my photos are going viral...please don't tell anyone that you had seen me," she is heard as saying in the audio tape.
The woman, who released the audio recording, was reached out to by India Today. While speaking to the channel, she confirmed that woman whose audio clipping she has released is Komal. "She was in my college - Daulat Ram - and she was associated with ABVP. She was my junior even in school," the woman claimed.
Komal's senior, apart from releasing the audio tape, also released intercepts of her conversation with the alleged female vandal on Instagram. In the screengrab shared by her, Komal's Instagram identity is found to be named as '26_saravashisth'. Upon investigation by the news channel, it was found that Sara Vashisth is the pseudonym used by Komal for her Facebook and Twitter accounts as well.
See Screengrab of Instagram Conversation
Here is the truth about ABVP's Komal Sharma the girl alleged to be the one with mask at JNU — from the Instagram of Anuja Thakur. Read the chat, listen to the audio and read the post text. Also sharing the snapshots in the subsequent tweet. (1/2)https://t.co/vhHna4UBgD pic.twitter.com/25actVUxIY
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) January 6, 2020
A day earlier, the channel had aired a sting operation in which a first-year JNU student, identified as ABVP activist Akash Awasthi, admitted to his role in the violence on January 5. Awasthi not only confessed that he was among the iron rod-wielding miscreants, but also claimed that Komal was among them.
"Komal Sharma was there in the mess. What happened in Sabarmati [Hostel] was that when the crowd approached, Komal Sharma was secretly trying to enter the mess. When I entered the mess, Komal was scared... she thought that even I was from the Left. I told her...I am from your side," he was heard as saying in the sting operation video.