JNU students lock V-C, senior officials in admin building; police arrives outside JNU campus
The protests in JNU over a missing student turned volatile with the agitating students locking down the Vice Chancellor and other senior officials.
The JNU Vice Chancellor condemned the protest and illegal confinement of the Administrative block after the protests in JNU over a missing student turned volatile on Wednesday. The agitating students locked down the Vice Chancellor and other senior officials in the administrative building, following which the police has arrived outside JNU campus, awaiting official nod to enter the campus in case the situation goes out of hand.
Clarifying the university's stance on the issue, the JNU VC M Jagdeesh Kumar said that the university will not bend to such coercion tactics and the law will take its own course. He also said that he was saddened by the ongoing protests and called it unfortunate. "Students have become relentless and adamant and think that we are not doing our best," the VC said. The JNU administration also appealed to the JNU teachers' association JNUTA to negotiate and convince the students instead of signing petitions.
Seeking to calm the protesting students, the administration also said that an enquiry panel has already been formed that will look into the allegations of campus violence and an alleged brawl between students which could have been the reason behind student Najeeb Ahmed's disappearance.
The university, however, made it clear that the law will take its own course and refused to comply to JNUSU's demand to take action against certain ABVP students who were allegedly involved in the brawl. The VC said that it is unfair and against the due process to act against a student based on mere allegations.
The VC office also said that the accusation that the varsity did nothing in the issue is misfounded and incorrect. They said that Najeeb's mother already registered an FIR and that the letters written by the university administration have been used as supporting documents. The VC office also said that following the news of Najeeb's disappearnce due process was followed as all hostel wardens were alerted and chief security officer was ordered to look for him. They said the varsity is also constantly in touch with the police.
On the JNUSU's demand that the VC file an FIR separately, the varsity said that the JNU administration is not a complainant but an established mechanism. They said that they are functioning according to the procedure.
The campus administration also denied JNUSU president's allegations that they used a threatening tone with the family of Najeeb and called it a "blatant lie." They said that the university officials told the student's family with "folded hands" that they cannot tell the university who to punish and how to punish them; there are set procedures for the same.
The VC and other senior officials were locked for more than eight hours as the students were lying down outside the administration block, saying the officials were free to walk over them.
"We have been locked inside the building since 2.30 pm. There is a female colleague with us who is unwell as she is diabetic," JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said on Wednesday night.
The JNU students union defended its stand, claiming there has been no "illegal detention".
"We have not illegally confined anybody in JNU administrative building. Electricity and all kind of supplies are here. We have also sent food for people inside," Mohit Pandey, President, JNUSU, said.
Police officials were seen outside the campus, awaiting a nod from the administration to enter the premises.
A large number of students had gathered at the administrative block in the afternoon to protest. After sloganeering and demonstration, the students blocked the gates of the building.
After intervention from the security, the locks were opened, but in the evening as most of the staff left, the students again continued with the blockade.
"The blockade is due to the insensitive way of handling he matter of Najeeb Ahmed — the violence against him by ABVP which led to him missing from the campus for over five days now and the JNU administration trying to shield the culprits while refusing to lodge an FIR," the JNUSU President said.
The situation remained tense with the Left-backed JNUSU and ABVP levelling allegations and counter-allegations. ABVP alleged that there is inconsistency in the statements of the JNUSU president Mohit Pandey and the roommate of Ahmad.
Meanwhile, at least 12 students were summoned earlier in the day by JNU administration to appear before the proctorial committee in connection with a case involving a missing student amid protests by students who claimed Vice Chancellor acted in an "insensitive" manner on the issue.
A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on Saturday following a brawl on the campus the night before.
An FIR for kidnapping and wrongfully confining a person was lodged at Vasant Kunj North police station yesterday after the police received a complaint from the student's guardians.
"The JNU administration had summoned 12 students to depose before the proctorial committee whose names have been associated with the incidence of violence at Mahi-Mandvi hostel on October 14."
"The committee has also asked anyone who wants to depose to come forward and help in the investigation. Condemning the students for blocking the administrative block, JNU teachers also urged the administration to put more pressure on the police to find Ahmed and appealed for him to return without fear of victimisation," a statement said.
The vice chancellor and other top JNU officials briefed the media for the first time since the disappearance on 15 October and said that all necessary measures have been taken to trace the boy and is also in touch with the family.
"But we are really concerned about his safety and is constantly in touch with the police providing them whatever information required. We also appeal to Najeeb if his is reading this to return to the university. We assure him of all help," said Kumar.
Accepting the fact that so far no leads have been made on the episode of Ahmed's disappearance from the campus, Kumar added, "nobody knows what has happened to him so far".
"The family had filed a missing complaint and when we approached the police we were already told that an FIR has been lodged by the family," said Chintamani Mahapatra, Rector of JNU.
With inputs from PTI
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