The Human Resources Development Ministry has received a detailed report on the sequence of events leading to violence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Sunday night and met senior officials from the university administration on Monday morning. However, Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar — who is facing calls for resignation from the university’s students union — skipped the meeting.
MHRD Secretary Amit Khare held the meeting with a team of the JNU authorities including Pro-Vice-Chancellor Chintamani Mahapatra, Registrar Promod Kumar, Rector Rana Pratap Singh and Proctor Dhananjay Singh. In the two-hour meeting, he was briefed about the situation in the wake of the violence and the university’s efforts to restore normalcy. The Secretary, who was in Bhopal, had rushed back to Delhi on Sunday night.
HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank was in Dehradun on Sunday and Bhubaneswar on Monday. He told reporters there that educational institutions “cannot be allowed to become political addas [hubs]”. “Strong action will be initiated against people involved in such an attack,” he said.
The JNU Vice-Chancellor had also not been willing to meet the committee appointed by the Ministry to resolve the stand-off between students and administration last month, despite repeated attempts. Sources note that the committee had proposed a solution to the hostel fee hike issue which instigated the crisis, but there was “a complete lack of flexibility” from the university administration.