JNU students’ body decides to defy restrictions, says freedom curtailed
The newly elected students union at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has decided to defy ‘restrictions’ imposed by the administration in the aftermath of allegations of violence before and after the elections.
The JNU Students Union (JNUSU) took the decision after door-to-door checks were reportedly conducted in their hostel rooms on pretext of looking for ‘outsiders’ late on Tuesday night.
The university administration had on Monday prohibited protests and campaigning at the campus, banned entry of outsiders and fixed curfew timings in hostels after clashes between student groups.
The students were also instructed to refrain from spreading “misinformation” on social networking sites on Tuesday. Officials from the Delhi Police have remained deployed at the university gates since Monday.
JNU officials said that the measures were being taken to ensure “peace and safety on the campus”.
The students on Wednesday alleged that they are being asked to show their identity cards in order to enter structures on the campus. “The administration has been conducting raids in hostels since Monday night on pretext of ensuring that there is no outsider on the campus. We held meetings with hostel presidents on Tuesday night and unanimously decided to reject the new restrictions that are being imposed by the administration,” said JNUSU president N Sai Balaji.
The JNUSU also requested the students not to comply with the “surveillance” and “restrictions” being imposed by the administration across hostels. “The students are not allowed to enter or leave the hostels between 11pm and 5am. Also, no inter-hostel stay or movement is allowed. There is a situation of virtual emergency in JNU,” he said.
Students at Tapti hostel, an all women hostel, alleged that a team of security persons came to conduct checks around 4.30am on Wednesday. Following this, hundreds of hostel residents came out. “How can they enter in a women’s hostel at such an odd hour? We did not allow them to enter. And, there is no point of checking when students are being allowed inside only after showing the identity card,” said a resident of the hostel.
Students alleged that the popular dhabas on campus, including Ganga and Sabarmati, remained closed for the third day on Wednesday. “The students are facing difficulties because of dhabas have been shut down. However, at Brahmaputra hostel, students held a meeting on Tuesday night and got the dhabha opened,” Balaji said.
University officials, however, said they have not issued any instructions to close the dhabas. “The dhabha owners are willingly keeping them shut. We have not issued any statement in this regard,” a senior official said.
Meanwhile, Balaji on Wednesday also met chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and apprised him of the ongoing issue on campus.