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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Weapons on campus raise questions over students' safety

Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 31, 2013
First Published: 23:19 IST(31/7/2013) | Last Updated: 00:29 IST(1/8/2013)

The suicide and murder bid at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus on Wednesday has raised questions about the security on campus.

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The question that has been worrying students and the administration is how could a student sneak in an axe and a country-made pistol without being noticed.

The university had a closed campus and a security team is deployed at the main gate. The identity cards of all students are checked before they are allowed entry and visitors have to prove that they have an appointment with someone before they are allowed to go inside.

"It is a shock for all of us and it also makes us feel very scared. I don't know what the solution is," said Pallavi Nag, an MPhil student at JNU.

The university has maintained that it has done all it can to ensure that the students are safe.

"We have a security team at the gate that monitors movement of students and checks their identity cards. It is not feasible for us to frisk every student before entering. Also, these students were residents of the hostel and did not come from outside. It becomes all the more difficult to understand how this happened," said SK Sopory, vice-chancellor, JNU.

The university has a counseling facility in place and a very active gender sensitisation committee. A meeting of the committee will be held on Thursday to discuss the incident. "I am really shocked but I am not really sure what more we can do for the safety of students. We have counselling services for both men and women. We have had a meeting with the deans and the students' bodies to see what more can be done," said Sopory.

"Such incidents are not common anywhere in the country, let alone in JNU. I think the whole university needs to introspect over Wednesday's incident," said Abhishek Yadav, former member of the JNU students union.


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