The Delhi Police have filed an FIR against an MPhil student at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for allegedly violating the lockdown and manhandling security guards. However, Pranav Menon, the student whom the FIR has been filed against, said that he had taken permission from the warden before leaving the campus and alleged that the security guards physically assaulted him.
According to The Hindu, the police at Vasant Kunj have registered the FIR under Sections 188, 269, 270, 323, 341 and the matter is currently under investigation.
In a written statement, the student has detailed the series of events and urged the JNU administration to withdraw the police complaint against him. He has accused the university of “maligning” his name and has requested that the CCTV footage near the main gate be safeguarded so that the investigation takes place in an “unambiguous manner”.
Series of events
According to Menon, a resident of Tapti hostel, he was following all the rules of the lockdown while he was there. “I maintained social distancing in the hostel and was taking my meals at Narmada hostel as mandated by the administration,” he said.
On April 1, he said that he had to leave campus to help out a friend who was unwell. Menon says he took permission from his hostel warden and decided to not return to the campus in compliance with the circular issued by the registrar on March 31. He made sure to leave a written document assuring that he would not return so as to ensure the safety of other hostellers, he said.
“I wanted to make sure I was not violating any rule by leaving campus and got the requisite permission as stipulated only after conducting due diligence of the applicable rules,” he said.
However, when he approached the gate, the guards said that his application letter was “invalid” because it didn’t carry the signature of the dean. According to the student, the registrar’s circular didn’t mention that it was compulsory to get the dean’s signature on the letter.
When the student asked for explanation, the guards, he alleged, harassed him.
“Three guards and the supervisor together lifted me up and hurled me, and when I broke one of the supervisor’s buttons in self-defence, he started slapping me,” he alleged. According to the medical report, a copy of which is with LiveWire, the student’s head was severely injured after the incident.
Menon has also alleged that some students were allowed to exit the campus without any permission letter.
The JNU administration had said that it would take strict action against students if they were found violating the lockdown guidelines issued by the government and the administration.
According to India Today, the FIR filed by the administration says that a student violated lockdown and misbehaved with security personnel, and later gathered a crowd. It states that the student allegedly told the staff that if they didn’t let him go, he would cough at them and “spread corona”, after which he sat at the gate and didn’t move. The student didn’t mention saying anything of this sort in his written statement.
“Those who have been indulging in activities endangering health and safety of JNU campus residents are cautioned not to repeat such acts. Strict action will be taken against violators of the 21-day lockdown”, the registrar had said.
The registrar said that some faculty members are supporting the students who are violating the rules.
Meanwhile, Menon has filed a complaint against the security supervisor – and the Cyclops security agency that hires the guards – for misbehaving with him, alleging that this isn’t the first of its kind incident. “There have been instances of sexual harassment of female students by these very guards in a drunken state in the past few days,” he said in the statement.