The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) called off an over 20-hour-long blockade of vice-chancellor and other officials on Thursday but the move did not go well with many students, who want the agitation to continue.
As soon as Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar stepped out of the administrative building to attend an Academic Council (AC) meeting, a group of students started shouting slogans against JNUSU.
“How can they call off the blockade without consulting other organizations. Why have we been sitting here since yesterday if they wanted to let the officials go out of the building just like that,” said a student.
However, JNUSU said they have not called off the protest and only changed the “mode of the protest”. “We will be protesting outside the Union home ministry tomorrow (Friday). The protest will continue but peacefully,” said Mohit Pandey, JNUSU president.
The confinement of the officials by students attracted criticism from various quarters, including JNU Teachers Association, which has been supportive of the students union in the past.
“Howsoever peaceful the confinement is, it is wrong. The mode of protest is counter-productive,” said JNUTA President Ajay Patnaik.
Sources said the move to call off the strike was “influenced” by JNUTA’s suggestion to stop the confinement of officials and to protest peacefully.
Organizations like the All India Students Federation (AISF), to which former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar belongs, Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA), Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students’ Association (BASO), to which Umar Khalid belongs, and United OBC Forum are not in agreement with JNUSU’s decision and planned a march on Thursday night.
“There are no differences. We are together in our demands. We will take out a march tonight at Ganga Dhaba,” said Rama Naga, former JNUSU general secretary.
Meanwhile, former JNUSU joint secretary and ABVP member Saurabh Sharma alleged he received a letter threatening him. “I received a letter threatening to kill me. I request administration and police to increase the security on campus,” he said.
A student of School of Biotechnology, Najeeb Ahmed, allegedly went missing on Saturday. JNU students’ union has alleged that students belonging to RSS-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad had beaten him up while other students have alleged that Ahmad had slapped a student.