The face-off between the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration and the agitating students continued on Tuesday, with the university expressing shock at the “misinformation” being spread by the students community.
The university has implored the students, who are protesting its notification on an upper cap on the number of MPhil and PhD students a faculty member can guide, to end their “siege” of the administrative block.
“...The university’s website and media reports have plenty of appeals and requests made by the administration to these students to refrain from unlawful and harmful methods... and come forward for peaceful discussion and dialogue,” the premier university of the country said in a statement.
It also accused the students of misleading the public by showing their “illogical demands as genuine concerns”.
It is the 12th day since a hundred-odd students started their occupation of the building, blocking all entries to it and throwing, as the administration alleged, “the entire bureaucratic apparatus out of gear”.
“The agitators do not care at all when thousand plus contractual labourers suffer because of their agitation, and yet shed crocodile tears by invoking ‘social justice’ arguments,” the statement said.
“Do they worry at all when the university has lost huge sums of money, that are actually the country’s taxpayers’ money, due to their occupation and blockade of the administrative building?”
“Do they respect academics, when official papers of faculty and students related to their academic engagements in India and abroad are not processed due to their illegal siege of the office building?” the university said.
It also reprimanded the JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) for supporting the students and taking the matter out of campus instead of approaching the administration.
“The JNUTA has not even once given a call for ending the siege of the administration building...,” it said.
“Some students have resorted to confining top JNU officials for above 20 hours, breaking open the doors and disrupting meetings, putting locks in various School Buildings to prevent classes,... All these incidents ironically are not considered law and order problems by JNUTA!” said the administration.
The students decided to “occupy” the administrative block on February 9, following the adoption of a 2016 University Grants Commission (UGC) notification which recommended an upper cap on the number of MPhil and PhD students a faculty member can guide.
They alleged that the cap would mean a massive seat-cut in the admissions, although the university said it will not happen.