JNU’s Teachers, Students March for Peace; Administration Bans Public Gatherings on Campus

Before the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration banned protests and rallies in campus on Monday, the varsity teachers’ association took out a peace march against the violence that has occurred on campus the previous night.

The march, which was also attended by students and university staffers, started from Ganga Dhaba and culminated at Chandrabhaga hostel. The teachers and students also carried out a night vigil against the attack and the ban imposed by the administration on protests and gatherings.

The JNU Teacher’s Association (JNUTA) expressed its serious concern at the situation in the varsity “where several students, including many women, have been targets of mob violence within the university”.

“The administration seems to have been standing by as a mute spectator. An air of insecurity is prevailing in the campus as there are several reports of incidents and there is a palpable lack of response on the part of the administration,” the JNUTA said.

The JNUTA accused the administration of having an “uneven approach” and blamed it for the emboldening of “the perpetrators of such violence who are hell bent on undermining JNU’s great democratic traditions”.

“While disciplinary powers have been used very harshly and excessively to penalise students and students’ union activists protesting peacefully against the administration’s policies, and even teachers have been similarly targeted, others indulging in violence (particularly against fellow students) have been favoured with kid glove treatment,” they said.

The JNU administration appears to be complicit in this process and failing in its duty to defend its own university and its democratic culture, the JNUTA said.

“The JNUTA demands an immediate end to this administrative ineptitude it demands that more security personnel be deployed at all hostels and other locations,” they said.

Students wishing to register complaints have been attacked in the vicinity of the police station and the JNUTA alleged its members and students were even threatened inside the police station.

“Several teachers who went to the Vasant Kunj Police Station only because they heard that the newly elected JNUSU president was being threatened there were witness to this sordid event.

“The JNUTA hopes the Delhi police will do the needful to ensure the safety and security of JNU students and all other members of the JNU community,” they said.

Members of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Left-backed AISA clashed early Monday, hours after the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) poll results were announced, with both groups accusing each other of attacking their supporters.

Violence erupted on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus after a united front of Left student groups Sunday won all four central panel posts in the union defeating the ABVP by considerable margins.

While AISA alleged that ABVP members randomly attacked students with a former student being almost “lynched” and the new JNUSU president being beaten up, the RSS-affiliate claimed its activists were attacked by Left supporters and three were injured.

This is the second incident of the two groups clashing on campus, the last being on Saturday ahead of the counting, which was suspended after election authorities cited “forcible entry” and “attempts to snatch away ballot boxes”.


Featured image credit: Farhat Salim