Delhi

Nearly 48 hours after attack on JNU students, V-C dodges tough questions

Mr. Jagdesh Kumar

Mr. Jagdesh Kumar   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Let us put the past behind: Kumar

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar on Tuesday faced a volley of questions from reporters on how a large number of masked visitors managed to unleash violence at the university on January 5. The V-C said that were many versions about how the people with weapons got onto campus, and that the police were investigating the matter.

“Let the police investigate, let the facts come to the front and then we will know what exactly happened. We must not add additional versions to what is going around and cause further confusion,” said Mr. Kumar.

The V-C said that a security committee will be formed to find the facts behind the incident, but did not give a timeline for when the report would be tabled. “Let the committee work and come out with the facts instead of pressurising them,” he said.

‘Campus is secure’

On a question regarding immediate steps that the JNU administration will take to ensure students feel safe as various probes take place, the V-C said: “We had a meeting with the wardens, provost and the hostel administration... we will do whatever we need to do so that security is provided. We are repairing damaged hostel property to make them safe... we are also requesting all students to come back.”

“Our heart goes out to all injured students. The incident (violence) is unfortunate. I would like to tell students that JNU campus is a secure place. I urge all students to come back to the campus. Let us put the past behind,” the V-C said.

Commenting on the university’s statements after the incident, which suggested that the people behind the violent attack were students who were protesting against the fee hike, Mr Kumar said that on January 3, students with masks had attacked JNU’s server rooms to derail the registration process.

“These masked students damaged the data centre to prevent hundreds of students from registering and had a clear intent to stop the academic functioning of the university,” he said, adding that the investigation would tell whether the same students were behind the January 5 violence.

He added that since registration for the new semester reopened on Tuesday, over 2,800 students had paid their hostel fee, “which shows that students want to resume their academic life”.

Reacting to allegations that he had not reached out personally to injured students and faculty members, the V-C said that several administration officials had contacted students and staff.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 2:51:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/nearly-48-hours-after-attack-on-jnu-students-v-c-dodges-tough-questions/article30507417.ece

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