FOLLOWING TUESDAY'S on-campus violence, Jamia Millia Islamia University was closed down sine die by the authorities on Wednesday. Police and Rapid Action Force personnel swamped the varsity in one of the heaviest deployments since the hostel raids of April 2000. (The university had, however, remained open then.)
On Tuesday, students went on the rampage and damaged some offices and several vehicles. The students said this was after they were beaten in the presence of vice-chancellor Mushirul Hasan. The V-C denied this.
After Wednesday's decision, students gathered at the university, burnt effigies of Hasan and demanded the ouster of proctor Rocket Ibrahim.
"What happened on Tuesday wasn't reason enough to shut down the university. We'll not vacate the hostels; we'll start a hunger strike against police inaction over the attack on Shams Pervez and two other students," said Satyaprakash Mishra, member of Jamia Students' Unity, a body formed after Tuesday's incident.
While the authorities are adamant about keeping the university closed till the violence ends, students accuse the V-C and proctor of using strong-arm tactics and of over-reacting to the situation.
University officials said the scale of violence on the campus left them astounded. "The violent reaction completely surprised us," said Hasan. "All my colleagues felt there was a danger of the violence escalating.
We decided to close the campus to protect lives and property. The university has incurred damages worth Rs 50 lakh in the incident. I can deal with my students, not with miscreants from outside."
He, however, said the university would reopen as soon as the situation returned to normal.
V-C says On closing Jamia
Miscreants damaged rooms, computers...They weren’t students, and it’s important to close campus to isolate them
On threat to students
I haven’t given clearance to the proctor to carry a firearm. I’m not aware if he owns a gun.
On admission denial
We’ve denied admission to 45 people who’ve a criminal record or have been rusticated at some stage.