By late Sunday, government officials across party lines denounced the attack at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Mr. Modi’s party characterized it as a “desperate attempt by forces of anarchy who are determined to use students as cannon fodder.” India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, called it “completely against the tradition and culture of the university.”
“Condemn the violence unequivocally,” he wrote on Twitter.
In a statement released shortly after the attack started, university administrators called on students to remain calm and emphasized that the police had been asked to restore order against “masked miscreants.”
But some students said the authorities stood by as the mob rampaged on their campus, breaking into dormitories with broken bottles and bats, and forcing terrified students to barricade themselves in their rooms.
Videos posted on social media showed members of the mob walking, undeterred, on the campus with iron rods, and people reported being beaten as the police watched. By midnight, hundreds of other activists from far-right Hindu groups had gathered on the streets, threatening journalists and vandalizing vehicles. As students fled through the university’s gates, some said police officers told them to chant “Hail Mother India.”
“The police were acting like accomplices,” said Ananya Pandey, 24, a former student who was visiting friends on campus when the attack occurred.
In an interview with Asian News International, a local outlet, Devender Arya, a deputy police commissioner, said the authorities had entered the campus as soon as they received word from the university. He denied accusations that the police were passively or actively abetting the attacks, and promised legal action against the attackers.
“The university continues to be peaceful,” he said. “As far as we are concerned, the university area is absolutely under control.”