JNU students forcibly enter library, clash with security; police register FIR
The Delhi Police on Thursday filed an FIR against a group of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students for allegedly breaking into the university’s central library and vandalising public property, after a complaint by the varsity administration. Nobody was hurt in the incident, and there have been no arrests so far, said the police.
The police said that around 11am on Tuesday, 15-20 students smashed the BR Ambedkar Library’s glass door, scuffled with the security guards, and forcibly entered the library, which has been shut since March last year, due to the pandemic.
“Some of the students spent the night inside the library itself and refused to leave the next day as well. After this, the university administration approached the police and filed a complaint, alleging that the students were not complying with Covid-19 guidelines and damaging public property, a senior police officer said.
“We have registered a case of disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant, damaging public property and obstructing government officials in the discharge of their duties. Nobody was injured in the incident. No arrest has been made in the case, so far,” said deputy commissioner of police (southwest) Udit Pratap Singh.
Like other educational institutions in the national capital, JNU is shut for students in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, hostel residents began returning to the campus in phases from November last year, and there are currently over 1,500 students on campus.
Students of the university have asked that the library, along with some other facilities on campus be reopened for the past few months. The JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) on Wednesday wrote to the university administration, requesting it to reopen the central library with Covid-prevention protocol in place.
The JNU administration on Thursday also issued a statement saying that some “unruly” students forced their way into the library on Tuesday.
“When no amount of persuasion by the Librarian and the security personnel convinced these students against violating the law and Covid-19 guidelines, the JNU security office lodged a police complaint in view of the seriousness of the issue,” the statement read.
The statement added that the students in question were not wearing masks or following other mandated protocol to prevent the spread of the infection.
“It is underlined that the curfew imposed by the Delhi government is still in place and no new guidelines have yet been announced regarding resuming normal academic activities. The chief proctor’s office in the meantime has been tasked with taking necessary disciplinary action against these students as per the university rules,” it added.
Meanwhile, JNUSU vice-president Saket Moon on Thursday said, “Students, especially research scholars, have been facing several issues due to the prolonged closure of the central library. Instead of addressing their issues, the administration has filed a police complaint against students. It clearly displays their so-called student-friendly approach.”