Actor Deepika Padukone visited Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday, two days after a masked mob attacked students and teachers on the campus, leaving over 30 injured and provoking nationwide outrage.
Though Ms Padukone did not speak at the university, she was seen standing with a group of students who were attacked including president of the students’ union Aishe Ghosh. Former student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was also present.
Sources close to Ms Padukone said she had gone to express solidarity with the students.
The Padmaavat star reached the campus around 7:30 pm, attended a public meeting for around 15 minutes and left after speaking to a few members of the students’ union.
Ms Padukone’s visit instantly triggered calls by the ruling BJP to boycott her movies.
— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) January 7, 2020
Others, however, supported the actor.
Good on you @deepikapadukone 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) January 7, 2020
Yesterday, Ms Padukone had spoken to NDTV about student protests across the country, saying that she was proud “people are not scared”.
“I feel proud that we are not scared. I think to be able to express ourselves. I think the fact we are thinking about this and about the future of our country… it is nice to see people are coming out on the streets to voice this and express [themselves]. Because if we want to see change, this is very important,” she said.
On Sunday, masked men had burst into the JNU, one of India’s most prestigious universities, and attacked students with sticks and rods. The police, which was accused of doing little to stop the attackers, has filed a case against those who were attacked.
The police have charged Aishe Ghosh, who was badly injured in the attack, and 26 others for with vandalism during a protest against a hostel fee hike that had led to a clashes between the Left and Right Wing students.
The Left-controlled students’ union has blamed the attack on members of the BJP-liked student body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP. ABVP has denied any involvement in the attack.