JNU curbing protests, not engaging with us: Students
After sending show-cause notices warning students to not protest at ‘Freedom Square’, the administration on Sunday installed iron grilles and said it was a move to get extra office space in the building.delhi Updated: Dec 13, 2016 21:01 IST
A day after iron grilles were installed by the Jawaharlal Nehru University administration to block students’ access to two spots at the administration building, JNU students’ union said the university was more keen to curb protests instead of engaging with them.
Students and administration has been at loggerheads ever since a postgraduate student Najeeb Ahmad went missing from the campus following a scuffle with members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), in October.
The university recently ordered hostel transfer of four students as punishment for beating up Najeeb.
After sending show-cause notices warning students to not protest at ‘Freedom Square’, the administration on Sunday installed iron grilles and said it was a move to get extra office space in the building.
The students, however, see it as an attempt to clampdown on dissent. They will be taking out a march on Wednesday from Mandi House to the Parliament to raise concern over Ahmad’s disappearance for two months now.
“It has been 59 days since Najeeb is missing. Even the High Court has questioned police and the VC about what is being done. He has given a token punishment to those who beat Najeeb by ordering hostel transfer. And when we protest against such steps, he puts a cage here,” said Mohit Pandey, president JNU students’ union (JNUSU) on Tuesday.
The VC M Jagadesh Kumar had said grilles have been put up only in the car parking area at the side entrance to the administrative block to carve out some space. “There is space crunch in the administrative block and this extra space will be used for creating office facilities,” he said.
Saurabh Sharma, former joint secretary JNUSU said that Ahmad’s disappearance is being made into a political issue by JNUSU, some teachers and political parties. “We don’t need this small space for protesting. We can get our voices heard even without this space. The way Leftists and others are behaving on the grille issue is sad and worrying,” he said.