New Delhi, India - February 15, 2018: Huge protest going on in JNU and students have surrounded the office block. (Photo by Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times) (To go with Mariyam’s story)
New Delhi, India - February 15, 2018: Huge protest going on in JNU and students have surrounded the office block. (Photo by Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times) (To go with Mariyam’s story)

JNU students ‘confine’ officials over mandatory attendance issue

A statement released by the registrar claims that the students had “blocked the way” of two rectors when they had tried to step out for lunch earlier in the day. The students apparently also “chased” rector I back into the building when he tried to leave for a class around 4pm.
By A Mariyam Alavi | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON FEB 16, 2018 07:37 AM IST

New Delhi

Jawaharlal Nehru University students, led by the students union members, allegedly “confined” some university officials in the administrative block since 11 am on Thursday.

The JNUSU, however, denied the allegation and claimed that they were only “peacefully waiting” outside the building to have a meeting with the vice chancellor and “raise questions about compulsory attendance policy.”

Till the filing of this report late on Thursday night, the officials were reportedly still “confined” inside the building.

A statement released by the registrar claims that the students had “blocked the way” of two rectors when they had tried to step out for lunch earlier in the day. The students apparently also “chased” rector I back into the building when he tried to leave for a class around 4pm.

“The administration has repeatedly requested the students to let the officials get out. But they have confined them and are not letting them go out. They fear for their safety. The rectors were not allowed to go for lunch. Now rector I is feeling giddy and may require medical attention,” read a statement released by the JNU administration.

“We have not called the police yet. We are still trying to appeal to the students and sort this out amicably,” said Pramod Kumar, the registrar, who also added that top officials including the chief proctor and the first and third rectors were confined in the building. He, however, could not confirm whether the V-C was inside the building or not.

JNU vice chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar, did not respond to calls or text messages. He, however, tweeted saying that “Despite high court order not to hold any protests near JNU admin building, not only there is a huge gathering since morning, JNUSU led students have even confined the top officials of JNU within admin building since 11 AM... Taking the university to ransom and confining the top officials in admin building since morning is highly condemnable. Let us raise our voice against such unwelcome behaviour.”

The high court had banned protests within 100 metres of the administative building of JNU, after students had confined officials during protests following first year student Najeeb Ahmed’s disappearance.

The JNUSU, however, called the allegations “lies” and released a statement saying that they were “peacefully waiting to meet JNU V-C and raise questions about compulsory attendance.”

“They don’t want any dialogue and are spreading lies. All university officials are freely moving in and out of the administration building,” reads their statement.

However, the president and the joint secretary of the union, both said that the students would “wait” outside the building until the V-C meets them.

“We are just waiting here. (The officials) can have a dialogue and then go. We just want the V-C to clarify their position and rationale behind the attendance policy.

Students had started assembling at “freedom square” outside the administrative block of the university from around 11am on Thursday and had demanded that the V-C meet the students and the office bearers, as part of the ongoing agitations against the new attendance policy on campus. The movement had gained momentum, after a new circular issued on Thursday said that students could claim their scholarships, appear for exams, or register for the new semester, only if they maintain the minimum required attendance.

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